Joubert responds to Chan's slam

TERRY JONES, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

LOS ANGELES -- It was the re-Buttle to the re-Buttle to the re-Buttle.

Former world champion and three time silver medallist Brian Joubert of France stood tall in the practice rink at high noon here yesterday and with calm and class responded to charges by Canada's Patrick Chan, who the previous day suggested Joubert was an excuse-making sore loser.

"So I am a bad guy? Sorry," said the 24-year-old who is expected to be the main opponent to 18-year-old Chan when the men's program begins today.

Chan's comments were in regard to Joubert saying Canada's Jeffrey Buttle didn't deserve to win the gold medal last year at Worlds in Goteborg, Sweden because he didn't do the quad.

The term sore loser had to be translated to Joubert, who speaks excellent English.

"You know, I said about Jeffrey Buttle that he did a very good competition last year, did no mistakes. I did a big mistake in the short program so I was sixth after the short program. It's normal.

"I was disappointed to see a world champion without a quad -- but Jeffrey Buttle's was very good skating.

"When I did my first world championship in 2002, maybe 15 skaters were able to do a quad in the short program. Now we can see the difference," he said of the reduction in numbers of skaters who do the four-rotation toe loop in the new scoring system.

'MORE FUN'

"Maybe the skaters today are better on footwork, spins, skating - and I work on it. I don't just work on the jumps. But I think it's more fun for the audience to see a quad jump, that's all."

Joubert says he thinks the quad needs to be worth more points in the new judging system, and less of a penalty if it's not landed.

"But you know, I think like the other skaters. I don't like to lose. Nobody likes to lose. But I am not a sore loser.

"I respect the other skaters. But I prefer when they beat me with the quad jump."

Joubert says the fans in France don't agree with the line of thinking of Chan, who doesn't have a quad but who scored the highest points in the world this year with two triple Axels and outstanding footwork and spins.

KURT WAS FIRST

Canada's Kurt Browning landed the first quad in competition at the Worlds in Budapest in 1989 and Canada's Elvis Stojko was the first to land a quad with both a double and triple jump in combination.

"I think the young skaters who are coming, they don't want to do the quad jump so that's a bad point for the future," said Joubert.

"You know, the main thing is I respect the other skaters. Patrick Chan and other skaters can say what they want. I don't care. I just want to do my job, to give some fun to the audience, to the judges and that's all. And the best one will win the competition.

"But I don't understand why Patrick would say that. I am very surprised because he is a nice guy.

"Maybe normally he's disappointed about what I said last season. But I still respect him. He beat me at the beginning of the season. He can beat me in this competition. But I will do my best to beat him, that's all."

TERRY.JONES@SUNMEDIA.CA


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