Chan wins silver at worlds

TERRY JONES, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:19 PM ET

LOS ANGELES -- After four minutes and 40 seconds of silence, the crowd leaped to their feet for Canada's Patrick Chan here last night.

Somebody held up a sign.

"Chan­tastic!"

Chan beat former world champion Brian Joubert of France after a week of jousting over the quad/no quad issue but lost the gold to American Evan Lysacek.

But the teenager from Canada is headed home from the World Figure Skating Championships as a silver medallist and quite likely will be the favourite for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

"If you told me last year that I'd be on the podium at Worlds this year, I'd have said 'Definitely not.' I'm at my second Worlds. I'm only 18. You can't ask for more from an 18-year-old at his second Worlds," said Chan.

"The biggest shock is going to be going back to high school next week and getting back to be a regular guy again. I have an essay due next week. It's going to be hard to come back to reality.

"It's like 1,000 pieces of a puzzle that you have to put together," he said of getting most of them in place in the free skate final.

Chan opened with a triple Axel then landed a triple flip and triple toe loop in combinaton followed by a triple Lutz.

If there was a moment to remember in all of this, it was when he landed the Lutz.

"The first three jumps just went so easy it was as if I just woke up and I was three-quarters of the way through my long program," he said of the tough tricks.

Chan ended up landing eight triple jumps in his program, three in combination. He did, however, single out of a double toe on the back end of a combination with a second triple Axel to score 237.58 points.

Lysacek, a hometown Los Angeles athlete who regularly comes to the Staple Centre to watch the Lakers, had a wonderful, clean free skate final and won the gold sans any judging controversy to end up with a 242.23 score.

Joubert landed a quad toe for openers but down-graded a planned quad Salchow to a triple, touched down on the back end of a combination and then fell on a Triple Axel. He ended up with 235.97 points.

"I did what I did. I was very satisfied," said Chan.

Chan had a visible-from-the-cheap-seats focus during the warm-up after which he'd be the first skater in the final group.

"I just told myself I'm where I should be. I did all my training. My weakness is getting too excited. I get goose bumps in front of a crowd just for warm-ups." The goose bumps were shared by everybody.

"He just was awesome," said Michael Slipchuk, Canada's high performance director.

"He was born in Canada, that's all I can say," said Skate Canada CEO William Thompson.

With Calgary's Vaughn Chipeur finishing 12th and Chan second, Canada will only be sending two men's skaters to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Second and 12th totals 14 and the total has to be 13 or fewer to get a third skater at the Olympics.

The Ottawa-born, Toronto-raised son of parents born in China, who met each other at a table tennis tournament in Montreal, was ninth in Goteborg.

Now he's a silver medal winner at Worlds.

And before he climbed the podium last night, that all finally hit home with the kid.

"I don't know if anyone my age has done this before," he said.

He was 51 days older than Donald McPherson when he won the world championship for Canada in 1963. The second oldest to win a men's medal at Worlds was 20-year-old Charles Snelling who won a bronze in 1957.

Chan joined an honour roll of Canadians to make it to one of the top two steps on the podium which includes only Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko, Buttle, McPherson, Brian Orser, and Donald Jackson.

That's very rare air for an 18 year-old kid.

"I just want to go home and play video games," he said.


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