Chan wants it all
Reigning world silver medallist plans to add quad next season
Patrick Chan may not need a quadruple jump in his routine to win at future global events or the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, but he definitely wants one.
It just won't be next week in Turin, Italy, at the 2010 world figure skating championships.
The three-time national champion, who finished fifth at the Olympic Games in Vancouver, told a conference call on Wednesday the big jump is on the to-do list.
"Yes, I do want the quad in the future," Chan said from Colorado, where the 19-year-old has been working with his new co-coach Christy Krall.
"[It's] because I want to go out with a real bang and really show people that I am capable of doing it, and make the people who are doubting me and doubting that I could do it … just show them that I could."
He also doesn't want to be seen as resting on his laurels.
"I want to really be the best and keep striving further, because — who knows? — there might be someone coming up later in the next couple of years who will [have] just as good skating skills as me."
Another youngster on the rise
That might be a nod towards North Vancouver's Kevin Reynolds, third in nationals this year and suddenly at his first worlds because of an injury to Vaughn Chipeur.
Reynolds is already regularly landing a quad Salchow and toe loop in competition, and has a quad-triple-triple combination as one of his weapons.
"Plus, it would be really boring to practice every day and just do the same thing and not try to do something that challenges you and makes you fall down a couple of times and makes you really work for it," Chan said.
Canada's champion is part of an ongoing argument in skating circles over the new judging system that allows competitors to win without doing the hardest jumps, provided they nail the lesser ones and have superb skating ability and choreography.
Scoring system questioned
Russia's Evgeni Plushenko, who has the quad, was beaten by American Evan Lysacek for Olympic gold at Vancouver, despite the latter not having the big jump. Plushenko railed at the system.
That doesn't, however, seem to be what's pushing Chan — a superb technical skater. He's looking for more challenges. Such as the one the defending world silver medallist has set for himself next week.
"Definitely a gold medal, for sure," he said. "After winning silver last year there's no question why I shouldn't be striving for a gold medal."
Getting there will be a touch easier as Lysacek has chosen to skip the worlds in favour of ABC's Dancing with the Stars program, something Chan supports and says he's looking forward to seeing on TV.
Still, there are seven other skaters to beat, including Plushenko and Olympic bronze medallist Daisuke Takahashi.
A mistake-free program
Chan joked he might be a "little scared" if he beats Plushenko without a quad, but what is key, he says, is that the worlds present a different judging panel from different countries and everyone will have to wait to see what they are looking for in the competition.
First goal in Turin?
"I want to land that second triple axel that I stupidly fell on at the Olympics," he says.
After coming down off the high of the Olympic Games (not an easy thing, he admits), Chan hasn't spent a lot of time thinking ahead to Italy. Rather he's been focusing on training.
"I haven't dwelled on going to the worlds. I'm taking it step-by-step. I won't start thinking about competing until the day of my short program."
Then it's a summer of rest, some appearances with Stars on Ice, and preparation for the 2010-2011 season and what may lie beyond.
"The quad will be in the program next season," he says. "Hopefully I'll get it in maybe by the first Grand Prix [in the fall].
"We'll see how the quad comes in the summer, but from what it looks like right now, I don't see any reason why it should not be in the program next season. But I'm not stressing about it. If I get it, I get it. But if I don't, I don't. It's not the end of the world."
Make no mistake, however. He wants to get it.