CALGARY - Mexico is not just where Olympic medallist Elvis Stojko found his love of figure skating after several years away from the rink, it's also the place where he simply found love.
This has been a busy few weeks for the Canadian figure skating legend: not only is he set to wow audiences at a rock 'n roll ice show at this year's Calgary Stampede, but last month the 38-year-old married his sweetheart in Las Vegas.
His new wife is a fellow figure skater, Mexican Gladys Orozco. They met a little more than a year ago at a small competition in Mexico, where Stojko now lives.
"Believe it or not, I spotted her when she first walked in the arena and I was like 'I have to meet this woman,' " Stojko said in an interview Tuesday.
He asked after her, and while offers where made to introduce them, he declined as he wanted to do it himself. She beat Stojko to the chase, however, approaching him.
"Within about five minutes of the conversation I said 'You know what, I want to take you to dinner.' The rest is history," he said.
It certainly is. Last month, the couple were readying for a trip to Las Vegas when Stojko casually popped the question. Four days later, on June 20, they were married.
Stojko has a royal resume when it comes to figure skating. His career triumphs include three world championships and two Olympic silver medals.
He retired from competitive figure skating not long after a disappointing showing at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. After turning pro for a time, he quit the sport entirely.
"I was tired with all that stuff that goes along with it," Stojko said of skating.
He found solace in Mexico, where he's lived for the last nine years. Stojko said he rode his motorbike and camped, moving away from figure skating. But in late 2008, he rediscovered his love for the sport.
"Being in Mexico, really had some time to clear all my past away and all that energy that I wanted to get away from," he said.
Although figure skating takes the back seat in Mexico to more popular sports like soccer, there are some talented kids, Stojko said. But they don't have the teaching expertise, a void Stojko likes to fill.
"I enjoy it. It's competitive, but it's not like being in Canada with all the rules and regulations and all the baloney you have to deal with. I can got there and teach what I want and help out the kids."
As for the newlyweds, they still haven't had a honeymoon but want to do some trekking, Stojko said.
It's taken the man a long time to finally get married. But rushing that along was never in the cards for him.
"I wanted to make sure that I found someone that I really connected with and was good friends with, best friends," he said. "Someone that we really understood each other and someone that loves me for me."