January 21, 2011
No rush for a gold rush
By STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency
VICTORIA -- Patrick Chan hasn't bought the Olympic gold-medal polish, quite yet.
Only 20, and with a world championship silver medal already on his resume, Chan is one of the early favourites to win the men's singles title at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
But the Toronto skater refuses to let himself get that far ahead.
In fact, Chan said on Thursday, on the eve of the Canadian championships, that there are no guarantees that he will even be in Russia for the 2014 Games.
"This year, I've been thinking about (Sochi) a lot (and) I still don't know if I'm for sure going to go these next three years," he said. "I'm going to take it year by year and then see how it will play out. If I'm still healthy, if I still want to skate, then I'll decide if I want to go to 2014."
It seems hard to believe that Chan wouldn't stick around and try for Olympic gold. after all, he looks at his fifth-place finish at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics as a lost chance and the hunger for a gold medal still burns.
But he's not going to count his gold before it's, uh, forged. What he is counting on, or at least hoping for, is the gold medal at the world championships in Tokyo in March.
With Olympic gold-medallist Evan Lysacek of the U.S. and silver-medallist Evgeni Plushenko of Russia gone, as well has Johnny Weir of the U.S., and Stephane Lambiel of Switzerland, Chan is in a great position to win his first world title, particularly now that he's performing a quad in competition. In fact, a quad in his short and two in his long.
There could be one major roadblock, though. The Japanese, who will be skating at home at the worlds, are looking very strong.
"This year there's a big Japanese domination," Chan said. "I was first at the Grand Prix Final, and the next three behind me were all Japanese. I think that's pretty much what you're going to see at the worlds."