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Skating legends returning to Victoria with Stars on Ice

Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko and Patrick Chan — the three greatest Canadian male singles figure skaters of all time — are returning to ­Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre on May 16, 2023.
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Elvis Stojko performs for Stars on Ice at the Save-on Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria on May 16, 2017. The show, including Stojko, will return in May 2023. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Elvis has not left the building. Patrick is returning to it. And you would need a crowbar to separate Kurt from it.

The three greatest Canadian male singles figure skaters of all time are returning to ­Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre on May 16 with Stars on Ice. They have a combined 10 world championships and five Olympic medals between them.

“It’s not the stats that ­matter as much as how we still feel about being on the ice,” said Kurt Browning, by phone Tuesday, as he prepared for his Stars on Ice Holiday Tour show in ­Peterborough, Ont.

Elvis Stojko was a latecomer to Stars on Ice but the three-time world champion and 1994 Lillehammer and 1998 Nagano Olympics silver medallist has been a regular the past few years. The three-time Olympic medallist and three-time world champion Patrick Chan turns 32 this month and is returning to the tour from retirement.

Browning, 56, has been a constant on the tour, which has made Victoria an annual stop since the Memorial Centre opened in 2005. The only year he missed was 2018 so the Pyeongchang Olympic gold-medallist Canadian team could have the tour to themselves. It was one of the most unforgettable moments in Memorial Centre history when all seven members from Canada’s 2018 Olympic gold medal in the team event, including Chan, group-hugged at centre ice amid a rousing standing ovation from the sold-out crowd after skating to Fields of Gold by Sting.

Other than that, Browning has been the heart and soul of the shows on Blanshard.

“It’s a cozy rink that has been good to us,” said the four-time world champion.

“You build up a relationship with certain buildings. Victoria is always our second-to-last or last show so it’s always an emotional time when it’s coming to an end.”

About his longevity, Browning said: “I am always pulled back to the rink. And I’ve been lucky that my body has kept working well.”

Stojko, 50 and also a muscular skater, told the Times Colonist much the same thing last year during the Victoria stop: “I feel in great shape because I listen to my body. The Victoria crowd is always fantastic and we love ending our show here.”

With a trio such as Browning, Stojko and Chan, it is ­tempting to come up with a sporting equivalent nickname to the Three Amigos or Three Tenors.

“How about the oldies but goldies,” quipped Browning.

That’ll work.

The 2023 Stars on Ice tour will also feature two-time and reigning Canadian dance champions and world bronze-medallists Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier and 2022 pairs world champions and 2022 Beijing Olympics team silver-medallists Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier from the U.S. and fellow American and three-time world championship medallist and 2014 Sochi Olympic team bronze-medallist Jason Brown. The other performers will be announced.

Tickets for the Victoria show go on sale Friday at starsonice.ca and ­selectyourtickets.com.

The 12-show 2023 Stars on Ice tour begins April 28 in Halifax and concludes May 18 at ­Rogers Arena in Vancouver with stops along the way in other NHL rinks in Ottawa, Toronto, ­Winnipeg, Edmonton and ­Calgary.

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com

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