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Hilton Returns to Win British Championship

Elliot Hilton

Elliot Hilton returned from a two-year hiatus to win the British senior men’s championship for 2007-08. Hilton was the junior champion in 2004-05, the same season that he finished 16th at Junior Worlds. “I hadn’t competed since the Junior Grand Prix in Gdansk in 2005,” he explained. “I was injured that year when I was 15. I had two stress fractures in my back from repeated flat-footed landings. I was off the ice for five months, then I could only do 15 minutes of skating three times a week. I had to do extensive physical therapy and off ice work to strengthen my core muscles. It was at least eight months before I was back to full strength.”

“My goal at the British was just to get out and skate,” he said. “I knew I could skate well enough to get to Europeans. Before this season, I used to mess up and do stupid things. I’ve learned more to keep focused. When competed in his first European Championships in January, he finished 25th.

Yuri Bureiko and Marina Serova coach Hilton, who trains in Coventry. “I had actually given up, because I didn’t like skating any more. But after a few months of not skating, I missed it and decided I had to move,” he continued. “So in February 2007, I started working with Yuri. He’s a great skater and when he does things on the ice, I try to think about how I can do better.” Hilton only trains three hours a day, three times a week, and two hours a day on two other days. “Except for ballet a few times, I don’t do very much off ice,” he said.

Hilton began skating when he was nine. “We had a birthday party for my friends at the skating rink and I just went along,” he recalled. “When I was skating, Karen barber asked me who was giving me lessons and I told her no one. So I started taking lessons from her and her husband, Steven.”

He landed his first double axel and triple toe loop at 13 and had all his triples except the axel by 15. “I’m working on the triple axel now,” he said. “The first time I landed it clean was at the practice before the short program at Europeans in Zagreb. I was working on a quad toe before I was injured, but not again. It was actually better than my triple axel.”

The 18-year-old does a triple lutz-triple toe, triple flip and double axel in his short program. For the long, he includes a triple lutz-triple toe, triple flip-triple toe, triple salchow-half loop-triple salchow, triple flip, triple lutz, and three double axels. “I’m working on triple lutz-triple toe-triple loop,” Hilton stated. “but it’s not consistent. I also need to get my spins at a higher level.”

Bureiko choreographed his 2007-08 programs. For the short, Hilton is skating to music from the “Lord of the Rings” soundtrack, while for the long he is using the soundtrack of “Once Upon a Time in Mexico”. “Both of my programs are new,” Hilton noted. “We wanted to be careful with the music and keep it clean and sharp and simple. I like loads of different types of music. You know when you hear it that you want to skate to it.” Hilton is using “Live and Let Die” by Guns and Roses for a show program.

Off ice, he plays guitar in a band named Dune. “It’s addictive,” he said. “We play acoustic and rock. I listen to mainly hard roc music like Led Zeppelin, Guns and Roses.” He also likes to hang out with friends and plays a little tennis and soccer.

Hilton has finished high school, but doesn’t have any future educational plans. “I want to compete until I’m about 25, then do some shows and go into coaching,” he said.

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