Chan avoids 'Kiss of Death'

TERRY JONES, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:13 AM ET

LOS ANGELES -- Patrick Chan avoided the Kiss of Death.

But the day after he won a silver medal at the World Figure Skating Championships, Chan couldn't resist remaining an outspoken lightning rod for controversy.

It was an interesting day-after for Canada's 18-year-old skating sensation who won over a nation, not to mention a silver medal which made him the second-youngest Canadian men's singles skater ever to win a medal at Worlds.

Donald MacPherson was 51 days younger when he won gold in 1963.

FAVOURITE

Chan's moment was treated like a gold-medal happening both here and back home where he just became the focus and the favourite going into Vancouver 2010.

"It just shows the culture and excitement we have on the Canadian team," said the Toronto skater who was born in Ottawa.

"We really took advantage of it and really celebrated last night," said the skater who was the last to arrive at the party.

Chan spent the day yesterday fulfilling the kind of obligations generally reserved for gold-medal winners.

"Oh gosh, yeah," he said. "Everyone is so happy about it. Everyone is just so ecstatic and it's great. I feel like I'm in Jeff Buttle's spot last year. Even though I didn't win the gold, it's a gold in my mind."

Chan said he woke up thinking that he learned a lot here to take through to Vancouver. He said he also woke up thinking he reached the world podium so soon because of Vancouver.

"I came along at a time when I didn't have that much time to take advantage of the greatest Olympics ever being in Vancouver. I decided I wanted to win a medal at these Olympics, hopefully gold."

Chan also woke up here yesterday knowing a silver medal here might have been a good thing.

"David Pelletier called it the Kiss of Death," said Chan of the Edmonton pairs skater who won the world the year before the judges scandal at Salt Lake 2002 in which he and partner Jamie Sale were, for a few days at least, jobbed out of a gold.

"David said it's the Kiss of Death to win the Worlds the year before the Olympics - that no man has done it since Scott Hamilton (in 1984 in Sarajevo)."

Canadians Brian Orser in Calgary, Kurt Browning in Albertville and Lillehammer and Elvis Stojko in Nagano all failed to win Olympic golds as world champions.

"I think it's a good thing for me," said Chan.

The tell-it-like-it-is kid who goes back to school in Toronto Tuesday with an essay due, also said going through these Worlds and having a few things exposed may have been a good thing, too, because the judges are going to have some explaining to do when this is over.

Chan landed eight triple jumps while popping a double on the back end of his combination in the free skate final.

American Evan Lysacek had the skate of his life to win gold.

Brian Joubert of France landed the quad but made a mess of the back end of his program, including falling on an Axel attempt which was supposed to be a Salchow.

There was no controversy on the final placings.

But all sorts of controversy remained about Chan getting marked down on the component scores (the ones which used to be called artistic impression) to the obviously inferior Joubert.

COMPONENT MARKS

As was the case in the short program, Joubert unbelievably received better component marks than Chan.

"That's bad. That's really disappointing. I just hope they realize soon ... like come on. It's just so obvious. I was watching Brian last night and I looked over at Mike Slipchuk and said 'Are you serious? Are you kidding me? This is his program?' " Chan said of watching with the high-performance director of Skate Canada. "There's no comparison between myself, Evan or even the skaters in fourth or fifth. That's really unfortunate. I'm really disappointed. Hopefully they'll discuss it.

"I don't know who the boss is but I'm pretty sure he's going to be upset about what happened. I think it's good that it's happening now and this didn't happen at the Olympics. I think that would be really bad. They'll be discussing it and hopefully spread the word to more judges."

Don't make any bad bets, kid. This is still figure skating.

TERRY.JONES@SUNMEDIA.CA


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