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Figure skater Chan feels unappreciated in Canada

Canadian world champion Patrick Chan said in an interview with Reuters prior to this week's Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final that he feels unappreciated in his home country and is becoming increasingly drawn to his Chinese heritage.
Patrick Chan of Canada finishes his free skate at Skate Canada International, in Mississauga, Ontario, October 29, 2011. (Geoff Robins/AFP/Getty Images)

Canadian figure skating star Patrick Chan says he feels unappreciated in his home country and is becoming increasingly drawn to his Chinese heritage.

In a phone interview with Reuters prior to the Grand Prix Final in Quebec City, the world champion said the Chinese government is proud of its figure skaters, while the sport is overshadowed by hockey's popularity in Canada.

"Sometimes I feel we are not appreciated for how much work we put in," Chan said. "If my parents hadn't emigrated from China and say I had skated for China, things would have been very different. My parents wouldn't have had to make as much sacrifices as they have and there would be a lot more respect for what we do as figure skaters."

Chan said he has started to feel more Chinese because of the support he gets from the Chinese community in Canada. He said he would have liked to represent both China and Canada in competition.

"That would be the ideal situation ... in a perfect world," he said.

Skate Canada did not immediately respond to an email from The Canadian Press seeking comment.

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