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Patrick Chan: Interview: Thoughts about Yuzu’s NHK Performance

Today (12/02/15) I had the priviledge of attending a media conference call with Patrick Chan. While Patrick spoke about his feelings about TEB and the upcoming Grand Prix Final, he knew that questions about Yuzuru’s recent record breaking performance were inevitable.

Instead of waiting for the eventual question, Patrick addressed it near the beginning of the call. He said that “Of course, the natural questions are “What am I going to change, what am I going to do now?”” And his answer was simply that he is going to stick with his current plan.

Patrick said that he was relieved that Yuzu had 2 great performances even when Yuzu added another quad in his short program. He said there was always the question among skaters, coaches as to “what if Yuzu does do everything that he plans, what kind of scores would Yuzu get?” “Now we know”, Patrick said.

Patrick then said that Yuzu’s performance calmed him down. “It gives me something tangible to reach for. I will aim for that score or beyond it. It becomes apparent what the judges are looking for.” Patrick then added that he feels comfortable and not panicked. He can focus on himself now.

When asked, Patrick confirmed that he will not be making any changes to his short program.

One reporter asked Patrick if he watched Yuzu’s performance live or not. Patrick replied that he rarely watches other skaters live. He woke up on Saturday and saw some comments on Facebook (he thought from Jeremy Ten), then he went online to see the scores, and watched Yuzu’s performance on Youtube. He said that Yuzu “looked comfortable, at ease, and at home in Japan”.

Patrick felt that his return to skating this season was more exciting now because he is considered the underdog. With Yuzu, especially after NHK, Yuzu is now expected to skate at that level all the time now. Patrick thought that Yuzu would come close to doing it again.

While everyone is watching Yuzu, Patrick “feels calm, collected, and rested. I’m in a good headspace.” He said the Canadian Nationals and the World Championships are his utmost priority.

Of course, one of the questions was “Do you have any plans to upgrade the technical content in your programs to challenge Yuzu?”

Patrick’s answer was very interesting and very fair, I thought. I will paraphrase a bit in case I didn’t write down his “exact” quote word for word. Patrick said that he wants to see what kind of marks both he and Javier (Fernandez) would receive if they both skated the programs of their lives, like Yuzu did. That was how Patrick said would be the only fair way to compare the programs and then know what he needed to do.

Patrick added that “you can’t just go adding (elements) to your programs when I haven’t even seen what my best (potential) score is yet”.  He added that he is not panicking in the immediate moment.

You can tell Patrick is a seasoned competitor in how he fielded these questions. He was very open and honest, and I have to admit, after reading some of the odd quotes from Patrick in the past, when you get to hear the whole story from Patrick himself, he sounded very nice and calm. I’m sure he is thinking about many things, but he seems to be approaching this season very methodically.

He concluded with a comment about re-iterating that he has talked about it before, that he does not feel like he has to prove anything.  Patrick said that he was early in his 3 year run to the Olympics and he will take his time, and be strategic about it.  He is taking it one event at a time, and he will see how the Grand Prix Final goes, and play it by ear.

About working on a quad salchow – Patrick said that he has not had a chance to work on a quad salchow yet. He was also asked if he was going to add a second triple axel to his free program, and he again indicated that he is not going to panic and make changes, however added that the grand prix final was a good opportunity to try new things. However, since the GPF was only one weekend away, there wasn’t enough time to make changes.

He also commented that after the events of TEB, he expressed appreciation for the opportunity to compete in his sport at such a high level. He knows he is very lucky and that few people get to reach the pinnacle that he is at currently, so he is appreciating every day.  Boy, doesn’t that sound like someone else we know (Yuzu perhaps)??

Even though people seem to count Patrick out with all the new young kids coming up in the ranks, I’m still excited to watch this rivalry continue!!!

As always, Go Yuzu Go!! Doki Doki!!



2 comments on “Patrick Chan: Interview: Thoughts about Yuzu’s NHK Performance

  1. Christianne
    December 3, 2015

    Sounds like what he said after the GPF, pre-Olympics in 2013. 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yuzurist-Japan
    December 4, 2015

    Although I know very well that Chan is a great skater adored by Canadians, my honest feeling about him is that I have seen his performance many times between Vancouver and Sochi, and now I prefer to see someone new or something new. High scores or high-scoring SS are not the biggest attractions to me.
    However, I know he has complicated feelings like Mao does: superb results in the World Championships but only got silver in the two attempts in the Olympics. He (and also Mao) had nation-wide expectation of gold medal on his shoulders but failed. It is not at all easy. But I think the situation will be harder in 2018, with all the young boys emerging.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on December 2, 2015 by in Figure Skating and tagged , .
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