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  • Saturday, April 1, 2000

    Elvis likely to return for another go-round

    By STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

      NICE, France -- Elvis Stojko is playing it close to the vest, but a source at the Canadian Figure Skating Association said yesterday that skating's Terminator will be back for at least one more season in the competitive ranks.

     After winning the silver medal at these world figure skating championships, Stojko, 28, told reporters that he'll decide on his future during the next few months.

     But the CFSA source said the three-time world champion will stick around for the 2001 worlds, buoyed by his surprising second-place finish here on Thursday and the fact that the worlds will be held on home soil next year in Vancouver.

     And if Stojko remains for the 2001 worlds, its almost certain that he'll hold on for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. He won silver at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games.

     HAS SURGERY: Abena Denkova of Bulgaria underwent surgery on her left leg yesterday after being cut in a collision with Peter Tchernyshev, the two-time U.S. ice dance champion, during practice.

     Denkova was carried off on a stretcher and taken to a hospital where an operation repaired severed muscles . She will remain hospitalized for two days.

     She and partner Maxim Staviski immediately withdrew from the event. They were ninth among the 32 couples.

     The accident occurred while Tchernyshev and Naomi Lang were practising a complicated part of their free routine. As Tchernyshev extended his left leg, he hit Denkova.

     "At first it didn't seem too bad," said Igor Shpilband, who coaches both U.S. couples competing in Nice. "She skated away. But then she looked down and started feeling her leg and we saw the blood. The blade had slashed her. The American doctor saw her and said the tendon was all right but it was a bad cut."

     KRYLOVA VISITS: Angelika Krylova, the two-time world ice dance champion who has not competed this season because of back problems, has been a spectator at these championships all week.

     She hopes to return to competition.

     "Many doctors tell me, 'It is better you stop,' but this skating is my life," she said. "I have been back skating about a month. Each day for more hours and more power but is hard.

     " My skating is very expressive. I move my whole body. To move with such restriction is not a joy."

     Krylova said the situation was so bad that "I could not do my hair. The neck pain was the worst pain I have known."

     Krylova is contemplating an operation which would leave an extensive scar. "But they do not guarantee that an operation will work and the operation would mean three months without movement," she said.

     ROYALTY ON AND OFF THE ICE: With the principality of Monaco being less than 18 miles away, Prince Albert of Monaco, an avid sport enthusiast and at times a competitor on the ice, has been a constant visitor.

     The prince is a member of the International Olympic Committee, like the president of the International Skating Union, Ottavio Cinquanta. Albert was an Olympic competitor in the bobsled.

     Another celebrity making the short trip is Sergei Bubka, the world indoor and outdoor record-holder in the pole vault. The Ukrainian has a residence in Monte Carlo.

     Injuries have hampered Bubka the past two years. He hopes to return to competition and qualify for the Olympics in Sydney.

     -- With files from AP and CP



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