Skating champ Chan proud of Canada, Chinese heritage
Published Wednesday, December 14, 2011 9:21AM EST
Champion figure skater Patrick Chan says he is proud not only competing for Canada, but also as a representative of the Chinese-Canadian community.
Chan is wrapping up a year of unparalleled personal success that saw him go undefeated at major competitions around the world.
Despite his success, Chan recently faced fallout from a controversial interview with Reuters that left the impression that he felt he would be more appreciated in China, the country that his parents emigrated from years ago.
But Chan clarified those feelings on Wednesday, telling CTV's Canada AM that he made the remarks after taking his first-ever personal trip to China and that he simply feels proud of his cultural background and the sacrifices his parents have made for him.
"I said something like: In an ideal world, I'd like to represent both Canada and China," Chan said Wednesday.
"I think I should have said: ‘I am in the ideal world.' As I am representing Canada and I am also representing all the Chinese-Canadians as well as the Chinese community here in Canada. So I do have the best of both worlds."
Looking forward to the new year, Chan said he has to maintain his current routine of staying fit, healthy and focused on the next challenge that lies ahead on the ice.
"Being undefeated this whole calendar year just shows that I've been doing the right thing and I just need to keep going on that path and stay fresh and stay motivated," Chan said.
Earlier this week, Chan was awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy, which recognizes Canada's most outstanding athlete.
The 20-year-old is the first figure skater to win the award since Jamie Sale and David Pelletier shared the honour 10 years ago.
Past honorees have included Terry Fox, Silken Laumann, two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash and Wayne Gretzky, who won the award in four separate years.
"To me, it's very exciting to be compared to those great athletes," he said.