Six-time U.S. figure-skating champ Todd Eldredge stunned the athletic world after the 2002 Olympics, when he announced his retirement from the sport to join Smucker's Stars on Ice
. As the 22-year-old tour hits the Q tonight, he still doesn't regret the move. "I was getting to be the old man. I knew the 18- and 19-year-olds were the up-and-coming guys," says the 36-year-old Eldredge. "I was the guy who was ready to head for the hills."Far from it: Now in his seventh season with the show, Eldredge's contributions include two solo numbers — "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" from the Broadway hit Monty Python's Spamalot
and "Nights in White Satin" by the Moody Blues. He also skates in ensemble pieces with fellow Olympians like Sasha Cohen, Michael Weiss, Kyoko Ina, and John Zimmerman. "When I turned professional, I knew this was the best show available, and I said, 'Hey, how do I get in it?'" says Eldredge. "They gave me an offer, I took it, and here I am."When he's not on tour, Eldredge spends time at home outside Detroit. He also preps for solo shows, which play from Sun Valley to Scotland. And he gives pep talks to kids who want to become Olympic-level skaters — just like he himself did when he was growing up in Massachusetts. "If you enjoy skating, stick with it and see what you can do with it. I didn't know, when I was five years old, that I'd be doing what I'm doing," says Eldredge. "If you have a passion, follow it and see what it may bring you." The show starts at 7 tonight at Quicken Loans Arena, 100 Gateway Plaza. Tickets are $23 to $108. Call 216-241-2121.
Thu., March 27, 7 p.m., 2008