Hey sports fans!! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am a self admitted “rink rat” so a lot of this blog will be about figure skating and hockey, however as an ex-figure skater, ex-varsity athlete and a sports fan in general, I usually have thoughts and opinions about alot of different sports I follow, so visit often!
Today was Patrick Chan’s media conference call prior to Worlds, and Patrick was very candid in his answers to the questions. The more I listen to Patrick speak about his experiences and plans going forward, the more I appreciate his direct honest answers.
In addition to telling us his new strategy to change the layout of the first few jumping passes in his long program from 4T, 3A, 4S to 4T, 4S, 3A, when asked if the change in the order of the jumps made it easier, Patrick answered, “it’s just as tough but at this level, we are looking at inches and little changes that make a difference. Whether it does or not, it’s a new challenge for me leading into Worlds.”
Patrick continued with “I want to be able to perform clean programs. (During 4CC) I had the chance to watch them (Yuzu, Shoma, and Nathan) in the green room. It was mind blowing, what these guys were doing technically.” Patrick admitted that he had never had the chance to watch them skate live before. “Yes, I am at a disadvantage technically, so we are thinking of what kind of strategy to use. Watching them was eye opening, but calming…”
When asked if he was surprised at how the sport has progressed since 2014 Sochi, Patrick said “Ya. I was not expecting that. I thought Yuzu at Sochi had pushed to the limit but that wasn’t the limit.” Patrick talked about the pros and cons of this new quad world. The PRO: “it’s an exciting period of mens skating.” The CON: “A by product is pushing the body to the limits, the torque, and joint pressure. We won’t know until 2, 3, 4 years from now what kind of damage it is doing to the body.”
When asked if he felt he was narrowing the gap on the top 3-4 men, or if he felt they were racing further in front of him, Patrick answered, “Last year coming back (it) felt like they were getting further ahead. I caught up to their pace but was running on a parallel path. Do you know what I mean?” I wanted to say on the phone “Yes, Patrick, I do!” but I kept silent.
Now this season Patrick feels like he can compete against the top men. “I need to skate a clean SP and LP if I stick to the current technical plan. Next year, maybe I need to increase number of quads in SP to make is easier, or harder? It’s a balancing act. I have to accept the fact, and I have, that I have to skate a clean SP and clean FS to compete”. Imagine a clean Patrick with 2 quads in his SP! Game on! This will get fun!
When asked if he ever gets discouraged, Patrick answered that his work with his sports psychologist has helped. His next quote really hit home with me. “I am running as fast as I can, but they keep running away from me.” I found myself saying a silent “wow” when Patrick said this. His comment really resonated with me just because it was such an interesting introspective into someone who led the sport for so long, and that someone is still working hard to achieve new goals. To give you full context to his comment, he further added that “I need to identify which is pure emotion and what I need to improve on”.
As for his thoughts on the movement towards more technical content in programs, Patrick had this to say, “I don’t care what anyone says. When it comes to adding quads when it counts, the skating skills get sacrificed. I guarantee that. I have to go in the direction that the sport is going in. It is being dictated by the top 2 men. I can only follow the lead. My skating skills are my edge but it’s not for me to decide.” I know some people might not like the way Patrick said this, but having heard it with my own ears, I think Patricks comments are very honest and sincere. He is not sugar coating anything, and just stating his opinion. I am gaining more respect for Patricks viewpoint as time goes on because he is seeing the mens event through a different set of eyes now. Patrick is not the skater that is leading the charge into the future anymore, but he is one of the few people who can appreciate the position he is currently in, having been a leader in the sport and now a self-professed follower.
Does Patrick think that his comeback has been worth it? Patrick chuckled before saying “Yes and No. It’s not a simple answer. It’s been a completely different approach (returning to competitive skating) than going into Sochi and Vancouver. I am at a different point of life, skating plays a different role for me. It’s not good or bad. It’s exciting, exploring the unknown, exploring technically. After Sochi, I never thought I could add another quad”.
I asked Patrick if he felt any pressure to place well to obtain 3 spots for Olympics for the mens event for Team Canada. His answer was simply, “I think we have the best team going into worlds to give Canada 3 spots. We will do our best. It’s not the right way to think, thinking we need to place in a certain spot, it adds pressure. I just know that we have a strong mens team”.
A really interesting chat with Patrick. Goodluck Patrick, see you in Helsinki!!
Go Yuzu Go!! Doki Doki!!!