Chan's ready when the world is
For Patrick Chan, what would have been a week spent preparing to perform against the world's greatest figure skaters has turned into a week of waiting and wondering when and where the world figure skating championships will be scheduled.
Or, whether they'll even happen at all.
The four-time Canadian men's champion told CBC Sports Weekend's Scott Russell that he's trying to keep his momentum up without wearing himself out.
"It's a bit like caging a tiger; you're kind of holding back and trying to conserve your energy," said Chan.
That tiger — 20-year-old Chan — is ready to be released when a re-scheduled date and venue for the world championships is confirmed.
The competition was supposed to be held in Tokyo from March 21 to 27, but the recent earthquakes and tsunami that hit Japan have changed plans. Although rescheduling the world championships is a pressing concern for the International Skating Union, Chan said the bigger issue is the well-being of those affected by the devastating disasters.
"I'm just concerned about the Japanese skaters and citizens and my friends that live in Japan. So right now, my thoughts are with them," Chan said.
Chan said that waiting for the international competition to happen tests an athlete's ability to adapt to any given situation.
"I've had a really great season and you know what , if world's doesn't happen, it doesn't happen, you just move on. Who says I can't repeat what I did this year next year? But that's what determines a great athlete — someone who can be very versatile and figure out things and be the same consistency next year.
"I don't believe much in peaking at the right time," he said.
Competing in the world championships is Chan's immediate concern, but he told CBCSports.ca the delayed event can effect a skater's long-term future.
"It does change a lot of things. This means I've got to start planning for a new program as soon as worlds is over, immediately after. It does affect my time off, unfortunately," he said.
Chan, who has been competing since he was five, said that through his many competitions, he's never experienced anything like this before.
"This is unknown territory for me," he said.
"This is something I can't control, but I'm glad I can experience it and say I was there for when worlds was either postponed or cancelled," Chan said. "I think it's good for any skater to have experienced or have in their pocket."
International Skating Union President Ottavio Cinquanta sent a letter to Japanese organizers Tuesday asking if they could still host. He told The Associated Press that his organization will "move forward" if it doesn't hear from the Japanese by early Monday morning.
Alternatives include holding the worlds at the end of April or the beginning of May, with the United States, Canada, Finland, Germany and Russia as possible hosts. Whether or not the event is on home soil, Chan is ready to perform.
"I think its just a matter of keeping myself busy while I'm waiting and once we get the go ahead, I'll be ready and I'll give it my best," he said.