Patrick Chan to headline Skate Canada

Canada's Patrick Chan will be the main show at this years Skate Canada competition. (REUTERS/ Mike...

Canada's Patrick Chan will be the main show at this years Skate Canada competition. (REUTERS/ Mike Cassese)

MIKE KOREEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:57 PM ET

As the only reigning Canadian champion competing this weekend at Skate Canada International, all eyes in the K-Rock Centre will be on Patrick Chan.

Bring it on, the Ottawa native says.

I just want to show what I've got, Chan said. I don't really have time to think about added pressure because of (others pulling out). I'm kind of past that. That was last year and the year before that, the whole pressure with the audience.

Besides, Chan knows a thing or two about being in the spotlight.

Coming off a silver medal at the 2009 world championship, the teenager was seen as a guy who had the potential to enter uncharted territory at the Vancouver Olympics.

Chan, 19, failed to become the first Canadian Olympic champion in the men's competition, finishing a disappointing fifth. That result came after a rocky season in which Chan split from his coach and suffered a calf injury that took him off the ice for several weeks.

That's a part of becoming a top athlete in your sport, Chan said of adversity. You think about any athlete Tiger (Woods), Roger (Federer) they all had to go through this. They've all had little droughts.

I'm lucky mine was only a year. It could have been a lot worse ... I thought I was prepared, but I was missing a lot of experience. Now, I have gained a lot more.

Chan rebounded from the off-the-podium Olympic placing by winning his second world silver medal in a row in Italy.

While Canadian ice dance champs Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue and pairs winners Bryce Davison and Jessica Dube are sidelined by injuries and women's champ Joannie Rochette is contemplating her competitive future, Chan is feeling as good as ever.

He trained all summer in Colorado Springs and added quads to his short and long programs.

There is no better year to do it than the year after the Olympics, Chan said. It's going great in practice. I'm not hesitating and I'm getting really comfortable with it.

It's good to have it in your arsenal. Now, I kind of understand why people push other skaters to do it. It's a whole different level of skating once you put your a quad in your program.

Chan also believes he has taken a step forward by taking a step back with his schedule.

Last summer, I skated six days a week, Chan said. Now, (co-coach) Christy (Krall) and I kind of have a contract where I have to take weekends off. If I skate on the weekend, I have to take a day off on a weekday. I'm listening to my body a lot more and I know what I need, food-wise, and for training.

Chan hasn't committed to competing at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The four-year wait seems to be the only thing holding Chan back from saying he's in.

If somehow times goes by faster than usual, that would be great, Chan said. I'd really love to go. Vancouver was so exciting.

Skate Canada certainly is hoping Chan sticks with it for one more shot at Olympic gold. Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada's director of high performance, liked what he saw during a recent trip to see Chan in Colorado.

He looks very good, Slipchuk said. He's stepped up a level from last year. He has the quad in the short and free and these jumps take time for athletes. People forget, and we forget sometimes, how young he is.

He's definitely going to open a lot of eyes (this season).

Chan will get a good test at Skate Canada as the men's event figures to be the best competition.

Adam Rippon of the United States, who trains under former Canadian star Brian Orser in Toronto, and Nobunari Oda of Japan are well-respected international competitors. Fellow Canadian Kevin Reynolds was 11th at the worlds last season.

The goal is to (win) a medal at every competition and win worlds (in March in Japan), Chan said. I want to finally come home with a gold from worlds. It's kind of hard to win two silvers in a row.

Competitors will practice today at the K-Rock Centre. All four short programs will be contested Friday. The pairs, men and women skate their free programs on Saturday.

The event will conclude with the ice dance finale and the exhibition gala on Sunday.


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