Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chan looks to add quad to 2010 repertoire

You could argue Canadian figure skater Patrick Chan reached new heights with a brilliant victory at the Four Continents championships this weekend.

Chan, however, is looking to go higher.

The 18-year-old cruised to a gold medal at the International Skating Union competition at the Pacific Coliseum, leading a cavalry of strong Canadian results. But the skater from Toronto's Granite Club wasn't satisfied with an easy win over a world-class field at the Olympic test event.

Chan won without attempting a quadruple jump. Two skaters landed quads cleanly, and many contenders had the difficult leaps listed in their programs. That got Chan thinking about the 2010 Games, and what it will take to earn gold.

"Going into the Olympics, I want to do a quad and not go into a competition without a quad," the Canadian champion said. "Even here, it felt weird not doing a quad in practice when everyone else is doing it. It was uncomfortable because I kept wanting to do it. It was so hard to hold back and not try."

The Ottawa-born Chan bested three former Four Continents champions in winning Saturday. His short program last Thursday received the second highest score in the history of the ISU's new judging system, which replaced the 6.0 scoring system in 2004.

But to hear Chan and his competitors tell it, between now and next February, an arms race of quads is coming. That they will be part of the Olympic competition is unquestioned, but the next Vancouver podium could well be determined by which man has become most consistent at landing quads on the grandest stage.

Full article.

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