It's there in the most unlikely of places that former Canadian figure skating star Elvis Stojko is staging his comeback.
Shaken by the divorce of his parents, and disillusioned as his career wound down, Stojko moved to Guadalajara after he retired from competition in August 2006, leaving the spotlight and skating behind.
But the 36-year-old is back at the rink, preparing to launch a pro touring career. He's also coaching Mexican skater Humberto Contreras, who is competing at the ISU Four Continents figure skating championships this week at the Pacific Coliseum.
"I'm getting myself back in shape and getting on the ice," Stojko said. "It's been really nice, a purity of skating, a change in the way I approach it and the style -- a new vision.
"I had to end it completely because if you sort of take a half step away, everyone still wants a piece of you because you're half in, half out. So that's why I ended it. I'm back now."
The skater from Richmond Hill, Ont., won three world championships and a pair of Olympic silver medals, in 1994 in Lillehammer and '98 in Nagano. He skated his last show in August 2006 in Barrie, Ont.
"It seems like a lifetime because I've gone through a lot since," Stojko said.
He largely remained out of the public eye -- the three-time world champion did play himself in an episode of The Simpsons in December 2006. And last summer, he spoke at a rally outside the Ontario legislature protesting China's human rights record. He suggested athletes boycott the Beijing Games, prompting harsh words from Canadian kayaker Adam van Koeverden among others.
Those remarks, Stojko says now, earned him as many enemies as supporters.
He met Contreras two months ago at the Guadalajara rink when he went to inquire about ice time to teach his friend's child how to skate.
"I work at the rink, and when I found out he was Elvis Stojko, it was like 'whoa,' " said Contreras, who's part of a club of 300 skaters. "
He just wanted to see the ice, see the kids and see what he could do for us. I told him I didn't have a coach and asked if there was a way he could work with me, and he accepted it, and we're here."
-- The Canadian Press