World champion Patrick Chan parts ways with coach Christy Krall
Just weeks after winning the world title, figure skating star Patrick Chan has lost a coach.
American Christy Krall, widely credited with helping Chan acquire the quad jump that has propelled him to the top of the podium, has resigned citing a difference in coaching philosophies.
"I enjoy Patrick Chan like you cannot believe, he was a joy to come into, he worked very hard, what a champion … who wouldn't want to work with that?" Krall told The Canadian Press in a phone interview Monday.
But Krall said her role had diminished while Chan's other coach Kathy Johnson, a modern dance teacher who studied dance at Juilliard but also works with skaters, had assumed a larger role.
"It's all good, it works, it's successful," Krall said. "But I was stepping out of the coaching role I was in and becoming an instructor, and I personally wanted to do more than that.
"Things were switching inside the dynamics of my partnership with Patrick."
Krall has coached Chan in Colorado since he split with Don Laws just weeks before his fifth-place finish at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
She is known as a technical specialist, who is well-versed in Dartfish, a video program she used to train Chan in the quad by overlaying his jumps on a video screen with those of other skaters such as Russian Evgeni Plushenko.
Krall, who calls herself more science-based, has also been credited with implementing Chan's detailed training and diet program.
She says this year was one of "different coaching philosophies."
Chan was more interested in following a "different mode of training" this season with a focus on the artistic side of the sport.
Johnson accompanied Krall and the skater to the recent world championships in Nice.
Krall noted the previous year "I really had a great coaching role with Patrick, taking care of all his daily training, wrote his practice schedule, attended most of his events.
"And he did very well — of the 10 events I went to he won nine of them."
Chan will continue to work with Johnson. A statement Monday from Skate Canada said he'll remain at his current training base in Colorado Springs, with more frequent visits to his home in Toronto.
After his gold-medal performance at the world championships, the five-time Canadian champion admitted to a lack of motivation and frustration this season, and even feelings of wanting to quit.
"I really don't know where these [coaching] roles were going, I simply wanted Patrick to be comfortable and be set in his own mind," Krall said. "He had a couple of rough weeks, actually months, going into the world event. Mentally, it wasn't his best time. I was doing everything I possibly could to keep him stable, focused, comfortable."
Krall informed Skate Canada officials and Lewis Chan, Patrick's father, of her decision the day after the world championships in Nice, France, where the 21-year-old from Toronto claimed his second consecutive world title on March 31.
Chan, who is competing at the World Team Trophy in Tokyo and was not immediately available for comment, said in the release that the split has been made "with sincere best wishes to one another for the future."
Krall, who coaches other skaters out of Colorado Springs, also said the split was amicable.
"We will always be friends," she said. "I always want to see him win, I will always be a small part of his career, and he and I will always remain very good friends."
Chan hasn't lost a competition in nearly two seasons, and was the heavy favourite in Nice. He set three world scoring records at the 2011 world championships in Moscow and continued his dominant run this season, winning Skate Canada, the Trophee Bompard, the Four Continents and Grand Prix Final, captured the Lionel Conacher Award as The Canadian Press male athlete of the year.
Chan's victory last month in France made him the first Canadian to win back-to-back world titles in any discipline since Elvis Stojko in 1994 and '95. He's also the first skater to win consecutive men's titles since Switzerland's Stephane Lambiel (2005 and '06).