Figure Skating

Patrick Chan wins gold at Skate Canada

Patrick Chan had the most newsworthy performance at Skate Canada on Saturday, winning gold in a spectacular comeback.

Grand Prix event billed as rematch with Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu

Patrick Chan can't hide his excitement after seeing his scores after the free program at Skate Canada on Saturday, in his first Grand Prix series competition since returning from a year off. (Jim Young/Reuters)

Over the course of four-and-a-half stunning minutes Saturday night, Patrick Chan answered any questions about
his competitive comeback.

Canada's three-time world champion was golden once again, winning Skate Canada International in his first major competition since the Sochi Olympics.

"Pretty, pretty high stress and challenging competition for me," said Chan, who wiped his eyes in disbelief after his struck his final pose.

The 24-year-old from Toronto, who was second heading into the night, battled nerves in the moments before his skate. But he talked it over with coach Kathy Johnston, and went out and laid down a beautiful long program to music Frederic Chopin, that included a huge quad toe loop and triple Axel, for a total 271.14 points.

"I stepped on the ice and skated with no thought of who's around, who's watching, just really skating," Chan said. "Because it feels good to skate for myself, and physically, it's a great feeling when you go out and do what you've been doing day after day."

The event was billed as the rematch between Chan and Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu, who beat Chan for gold at the Sochi Olympics, the Canadian's last major competition before his comeback.

Hanyu, sixth after a shaky short program, roared back to win silver with 259.54. Japanese teammate Daisuke Murakami claimed bronze with 252.25. Toronto's Nam Nguyen was fifth.

While Hanyu competed last season, winning silver at the world championships, Chan spent most of his year-and-a-half off travelling and performing on pro tours.

He looked shaky in his short program Friday, but said nervous excitement got the better of him.

"I was thinking too much about 'I want to show people that I'm back and I'm excited, and I have all my jumps back. I'm here,"' he said. "There's that excitement, kind of like that puppy with all his friends, who's really excited to be there. That became a little hard to control."

He clearly had it under control Saturday, looking as if he'd never left. Chan earned massive grade of execution scores — scores that are added on to the base amount for each element. His component scores — the artistic scores under the old judging system —  were head and shoulders above the field.


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