Brilliant Chan wins 4th Canadian skate title
It was both the boldest of statements and the nearest Canada's Patrick Chan has ever come to perfection.
The 20-year-old from Toronto produced the skate of his life Sunday, roaring to his fourth consecutive Canadian men's figure skating title and staking his claim as the man to beat at the world championships in March.
Chan landed two huge quad jumps in a stunning performance to Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera," earning a whopping 197.07 points for a world best overall score of 285.85.
"If this was a year ago, he'd be an Olympic champion," gushed four-time world champion Kurt Browning.
Chan, who won two world silver medals before perfecting the quad jump this past off-season, rattled off two picture-perfect quad toe loops — one in combination with a triple toe loop — to open his program, and by the time he was turning in his final spin, the crowd at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre was already on its feet.
"That was the reaction I wanted when I was at the Olympic Games, that's what I dreamed about every time I was going to bed every night before going to the Olympics," said Chan, who was a disappointing fifth last year in Vancouver. "I finally got it. It wasn't exactly the same situation, but you know what, I'm going to take it and that's going to be one of my most memorable moments for sure, hands down."
Shawn Sawyer of Edmunston, N.B., captured the silver well back with 229.09 points, while Joey Russell of Labrador City, N.L., took bronze with 204.02.
Chan's performance left coaches and officials scrambling over notes trying to calculate the young skater's score.
"When a skater finishes and we all have no idea what his score's going to be…," said Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada's high performance director. "We've never seen that before. we didn't know if it was going to be 180, 190…"
Skate Canada's CEO William Thompson said Chan, already a splendid skater before adding the four-revolution jump, is truly the full package now.
"He was totally on tonight, every jump was perfect, that was an amazing performance," Thompson said. "That was the best men's program I've ever seen in my life. After all the worlds and Olympics I've seen, that was unbelievable, it was crazy. I don't know how you compete against that."