CBC is broadcasting the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and one of this country's big medal hopefuls is Patrick Chan, the current world champion. He's in the red chair on February 7 to talk about what it's really like to be suspended in the air over the ice and not entirely sure if you're going to land safely.
He also gets into the definition of masculinity and how figure skating fits into it, and watches a scene from the comedy 'Blades Of Glory'. Looks like the movie may inspire him to seek out a male skating partner...
Patrick's defending his title at the World Figure Skating Championships in London, Ontario, which will be broadcast on CBC, March 13-17, 2013.
In this clip, Patrick talks about...
Jumps and the risk of falling
GS: "Do you know, when do you hit the ground and fall - not you, but somebody - we at home go "Uh-ohhhh!" but do you know it's happening? that something's wrong, in the air?"
PC: "Definitely. Though I've been surprised sometimes. I've gone up and gone "What am I doing up here? This is not gonna be good..." and then I'll land on my feet and be like, "Oh my god! (laughs). I'm on my feet! OK, keep going!" You pick it up, right?"
Masculinity and figure skating
GS: What I like about, especially watching men's singles is that, I like anything that challenges people's perceptions of themselves and the world. So I like Kurt, you, Elvis, what you've done to even push the concept of what masculinity is. Dudes are like, "man, I ain't figure skating." And we watch figure skating, and go "man, that is hard." There's a real intensity that comes with it. Do you feel like people perceive figure skating differently? Men's figure skating differently now?
PC: It's a tough question because, figure skating - we've had the Elvis Stojkos and then we've had the Johnny Weirs of figure skating. And for me, I just like to be myself, and when I go out there, I love expressing and performing. I like to see figure skating as a chance to act, be an actor, and become something I can never be in normal daily life, and put it on the ice and I can do it with skates on.
GS: I think the fact that it has Elvis Stojko and Johnny Weir is why figure skating is one of the most important sports in the world, right. Because in hockey, we're still having that conversation, in football: when will there be an openly gay athlete? When there will be that kind of thing. Figure skating's a place where people are welcome. It's about the performance.
PC: Exactly. When you get on the ice it's about the passion of skating. It doesn't matter if you don't get along, if you don't believe in the same things off the ice, but when you're on it you can create something special.