Chan's coach steps down as Games approach
Choreographer Lori Nichol and technical expert Christy Krall take the reins
Just weeks before the Olympic Games, one of Canada's strongest medal contenders will see a coaching change.
Don Laws, Patrick Chan's figure skating coach, announced to Skate Canada this week he will not be attending the 2010 BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships or the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
Instead, Laws will take on a position at a new skating facility in West Palm Beach, Fla., called Palm Beach Ice Works.
"I would like to sincerely thank Mr. Laws for everything he has done over the past few years with me and I wish him nothing but the best at the Palm Beach Ice Works," Chan told Skate Canada from his training base in Colorado Springs.
"I respect his decision to move into his role full-time and I know he will build a successful program at the new rink. He has been a real mentor to me and I know that my former coach [Osborne Colson] would have greatly appreciated the work that Mr. Laws did," he continued.
Stepping into the role will be Chan's long time choreographer Lori Nichol. Also helping out will be technical expert Christy Krall.
Chan said he's "extremely comfortable" with his current preparation and training strategy for both the national championships and Olympic Games.
"I am very fortunate to have had such a long and close relationship with Lori and I respect her talents immensely. Lori, along with Christy Krall, provides me with a team that I have full confidence in and I am looking forward to continuing my journey with them," he said.
Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada's high performance director, said Laws's knowledge and guidance has been a valued asset to Chan's skating over the past few seasons.
"Moving forward, Skate Canada fully supports the team of Lori Nichol and Christy Krall and the technical expertise and competitive preparation they will bring to Patrick leading to the Olympic Games."
It hasn't been the easiest of seasons for Chan, who missed the first several weeks due to a torn left calf muscle.
His first and only competitive appearance this season came at November's HomeSense Skate Canada International. The reigning world silver medallist came in a disappointing sixth place.
Since then, the 19-year-old Toronto resident has been focused on training for the national championships and the Olympic Games.
The back-to-back Canadian champion in 2008 and 2009, Chan is aiming for his third consecutive national title next weekend in London, Ont.
With files from the Canadian Press