Sochi Blog: He did his best, Chan's work is done
Mmmm tasty silver medal! But as Peter Akman writes, Chan has done the best he could, and it may be time to leave it at that. (Peter Akman/CTV News)
Published Monday, February 17, 2014 10:37AM EST
Patrick Chan’s resume is something to be admired, saluted and celebrated.
- 3-time World Champion
- 7-time Canadian Champion
- 2-time Olympic silver medallist
- 100 per cent nice guy
Really, in the grand scheme of things, only the last stat matters. I have interviewed him a handful of times, and EVERY time he is accommodating and thoughtful.
Friday was a tough day for Chan. Coming in as World Champion, he was the favourite to win gold in men’s figure skating.
But, as it happened in Vancouver, he wasn’t able to rise to the weighty and overwhelming Olympic expectations heaped on his shoulders.
Don’t get me wrong, silver is amazing. But like Chan said in his post-skate press conference, you don’t work for four years with only one goal in mind to be happy with second place.
I get that, athletes I have competed with have always called silver the first loser.
For Chan, the Olympic medal may be the silver lining on his skating career.
But on Saturday, his tone changed around the way he talked about his sport.
He spoke of how unfair the media has been to him and other athletes in his postion. He talked about how we don’t understand what it’s like to be out there on the ice, alone and lonely in front of the world. Chan’s frustration was palpable.
“I had to realize that I had to do this for myself. This medal, the colour really doesn’t matter. It is crazy there is so much work, time and sacrifice put into this stupid little thing,” he said.
He also spoke of just how tired he was. Sure, defending another World Championship in a month is something in years past he would be up for, now, not so much. What does he have to gain? He already has three.
The Olympic gold is the only thing he doesn’t have and that opportunity is another four years of training, of working, of pressure away.
This is the one that got away. The one that, like many other Canadian male figure skaters, will haunt his dreams.
“I couldn’t sleep last night. I probably had four or five hours of sleep because I was so busy thinking about those moments, those split second moments that could have changed everything.”
If this is it, and Patrick Chan is done skating, I hope he will eventually be able to step back and see what he has done for his sport and for Canada. Maybe then, he will give himself a break, and stop re-living his 2014 long program over and over in his mind.
Good luck Patrick.