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Buttle adjusting from life as elite international competitor

Not receiving nearly the media fanfare as during his days of active competition, Sudbury skater Jeffrey Buttle is only marginally less busy these days.
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Jeffrey Buttle, seen in this 2010 file photo, reflects on his career as he makes the transition from the life of an elite international competitor. File photo.
Not receiving nearly the media fanfare as during his days of active competition, Sudbury skater Jeffrey Buttle is only marginally less busy these days.

Making a visit to Northern Ontario late in the summer of 2014, Buttle had just returned from Italy, putting his skills as a world-renowned choreographer to good use.

"This particular show that I participated in was very cool," noted Buttle.

"The show included live opera, pop singers, a huge production. It was sort of everything coming together, which was very educational - stressful, but educational.

"I think at this point in my career, it's just important for me to say 'yes,' to take on these opportunities that maybe I won't feel completely comfortable doing, but they're great learning experiences."

Back on the ice in recent months, Buttle is travelling both in Canada with the Holiday Festival on Ice and Rock the Ice productions, but heads overseas in January of 2015.

He will be in Japan, mid month, for the Medal Winners Open, and then off to Germany a couple of weeks later as the Rock the Ice crew take their talents to Europe. Buttle will close off the 2014-2015 season in May, reuniting with Kurt Browning and a number of familiar faces for the Stars on Ice 25th Anniversary Tour, one that will run from coast to coast in Canada for some three to four weeks.

Having celebrated his 32nd birthday back in September, Buttle has learned to adjust from the daily pattern that he would have endured as an elite international competitor.

"I have to listen to my body and keep healthy," he smiled.

"I skate more intelligently. I think as you get older, you realize that you can't do 101 of a certain jump a day. But I think as you get older, you realize that you don't need to.

"You get to the point where you feel confident that if you do three good jumps, you know that's enough and that you'll be able to do it when it counts. The opportunities are certainly more sporadic as a professional. When you are competing, you sort of have a set schedule, ramping up to when you want to peak."

Having travelled the world representing Canada over the course of his career, Buttle has also altered his outlook, to some extent, on being away from home. "There's a lot of places where I would love to go," he noted.

"As I am travelling less and less for skating, I will probably travel more and more for personal reasons."

And somehow, a stop or two a year back in Sudbury always seem to find their way into his hectic schedule. Generally, without much media fanfare.

And Buttle is just fine with that.



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