Road To The Olympic Games

Figure Skating

Patrick Chan skating without a coach for now

Canadian figure skater Patrick Chan isn't ready to name a new head coach just yet. Chan, a three-time world champion, said Wednesday at a Skate Canada high performance camp that he's comfortable working alone for now.

3-time world champion's coach resigned last week

Patrick Chan will work alone, for now, after his coach Kathy Johnson announced her resignation last week. (Steven Senne/The Associated Press)

Two months before competing in his first international event of the season, Canadian figure skater Patrick Chan still isn't ready to name a new coach.

That suits him just fine.

Chan, a three-time World Champion who's been without a coach since Kathy Johnson announced her resignation last week, said Wednesday at a Skate Canada high performance camp that he's comfortable working alone — at least for now.

"I think it's refreshing," the Toronto skater said following a practice session at the Hershey Centre.

The 25-year-old Chan said there are "ongoing discussions" with Skate Canada's high performance director Mike Slipchuk about who his next coach will be.

He didn't bring a coach to the Mississauga camp because he wasn't "100 per cent sure on anybody."

"Right now the priority is to get these programs out and see what people think of them," Chan said.

The reigning Olympic silver medallist spent his off-season working on his triple Axel, primarily with Johnson but also with Oleg Epstein, a former coach of American skater Gracie Gold, in Canton.

Virtue and Moir back in competition mode

Tessa Virtue couldn't find one adjective to describe her and ice dancing partner Scott Moir's return to competition after two years away from the sport.

So she used four instead.

"It's inspiring, it's challenging, it's terrifying, it's thrilling, I mean, we've really run the gamut of emotions throughout this comeback process," Virtue said Wednesday at the Skate Canada high performance camp at Hershey Centre.

Virtue and Moir, both from the London, Ont., area, became national names after winning gold at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. They followed that up with a silver in Sochi four years later before deciding to take a break from the ice.

The two announced their return earlier this year but started amping up their fitness levels for competition last fall.

"We tried our best but to be honest it was difficult. Two years off is a long time," the 28-year-old Moir said. "We tried to come back as early as possible but there were still a couple things, the body doesn't work quite the same as it did at 24 and 20."

Virtue and Moir have moved their training base to Montreal to work with Canadian ice dancing coaches Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon.

The veteran ice dancers, who also won gold at the 2010 and 2012 world championships, admitted they have much to learn from the new crop of young stars, including Canada's Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje.

Virtue said that challenge has been a driving force in their comeback. For Moir, it's been about competition.

"We're competitors, we're looking to win. That's never changed for 10 years and I don't think it ever will," Moir said. "But our perspective really has changed. Not that we don't want to win, we're coming in here wanting to win a gold medal for Canada, but I don't think we judge ourselves solely on that result anymore."


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