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Elvis has left skating — again

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RICHMOND HILL, Ontario — Elvis Stojko retired for the second time Friday after a figure skating career in which the Canadian won three world titles and two Olympic silver medals.

The 31-year-old skater had announced April 29 he was making a comeback following a 13-month retirement.

Stojko was the first man to land a quadruple combination jump in competition. He added a new dimension to figure skating by introducing martial arts themes.

His last major International Skating Union competition was the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, where he finished eighth. Injuries hampered him his last two seasons.

Stojko informed his sport's national governing body after returning from a week's rest in Florida. He had stopped full-time training in early September after a virus sapped his strength.

"I am truly sorry that I will not be returning as an eligible skater for Skate Canada," he said in a statement released by the governing body in Ottawa. "I have worked very hard these past six months."

He said he will be available to work with young skaters and will skate professionally, appearing in tours in Canada and the United States.

"I consider myself very lucky and fortunate that I have had the honor of representing Canada for over 12 years and I believe that I have made some contributions to figure skating in this country," he said.

Stojko won world titles in 1994, 1995 and 1997 and Olympic silver medals in 1994 and 1998 — the latter despite a serious groin injury. In all, he won 22 gold medals, including seven at Canadian senior championships.

"We understand how difficult this decision was for Elvis," Skate Canada chief executive Pam Coburn said. "An athlete's career takes many turns along its course and the path is sometimes unexpected."