Patrick Chan's new program: A sneak peek | Figure Skating | CBC Sports

Figure SkatingPatrick Chan's new program: A sneak peek

Posted: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 | 08:55 AM

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Reigning world champion Patrick Chan is getting ready to make his Grand Prix season debut this week at the Skate Canada International event in Mississauga, Ont. (Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images) Reigning world champion Patrick Chan is getting ready to make his Grand Prix season debut this week at the Skate Canada International event in Mississauga, Ont. (Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images)

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At a packed session Tuesday on a rink in suburban Toronto, reigning men's figure skating world champion Patrick Chan was getting in some last-minute practice ahead of this week's Skate Canada International Grand Prix event.

This year Chan's free program is the inspired work of the legendary Lori Nichol, Chan's longtime choreographer, who was also working with a student during this session. The music is Adagio from Concierto de Aranjuez by Joachin Rodriguez, and to say it is rich in texture would be an understatement.


At a packed session Tuesday on a rink in suburban Toronto, reigning men's figure skating world champion Patrick Chan and reigning junior world champ Andrei Rogozine - two thirds of the Canadian men's team for this weekend's Skate Canada International event - were getting in some last-minute practice.

Off the ice, I asked one of Rogozine's two coaches, Inga Zusev, how the youngster was feeling heading into his first senior Grand Prix. Excited? Nervous? Scared?

"Maybe he is feeling a little of all three," she said with a smile.

Rogozine's goal? " I want to skate well." Anything else? "No, I just want to skate well in both the short and free."

Meanwhile on the ice, Chan was going through his paces. When you see him skate live, you're immediately taken with his speed, his power, his strength and the height of his jumps.

Just two days before checking into the competition, at which time he'll have to rely on official practice only, Chan was clearly making solid use of this customary practice session at his Canadian training home. He landed triple Axel after triple Axel, most of which looked totally solid, as well as a couple of huge and high quad toe jumps before putting on his music.

This year Chan's free program is the inspired work of the legendary Lori Nichol, Chan's longtime choreographer, who was also working with a student during this session. The music is Adagio from Concierto de Aranjuez by Joachin Rodriguez, and to say it is rich in texture would be an understatement.

Chan was working the last half of the program to the music in the closing minutes of the session as Nichol, her student and I looked on. As the Zamboni took the ice, Nichol and Chan ended up huddled in the penalty box where the music player sits, presumably talking through the elements in the program that aren't yet second nature and that still require reminders in anticipation of this weekend's event.

Skate Canada is only days away, and no one is more aware of it than Chan himself.

It's Skate Canada week, and CBCSports.ca is keeping you connected in our live blog. Get the latest news, notes, photos, video and tweets from our own Pj Kwong and Samantha Houghton, who are live on the scene in Mississauga, Ont., and join the conversation by posting your comments.

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