Standing in his little yellow tuxedo top, silver pants and red tie, Nam Nguyen looked like a contestant on the old Tiny Talent Time show on Saturday afternoon.
The Burnaby, B.C., skater stands 5-feet tall and weighs 85 pounds. But though he’s diminutive in stature, he has talent and skill as big as a Himalayan mountain. And his short program at the Canadian figure skating championships Saturday demonstrated once again that he may be the most promising young Canadian skater to explode on the scene since Patrick Chan.
There was a huge buzz when Chan placed seventh at the 2006 Canadian championships as a 15-yearold, and there was an equally loud one Saturday as Nguyen, 13, finished eighth in the short program.
Though his program wasn’t perfect — he doubled a planned triple Axel and two-footed a triple flip — it was nonetheless impressive (scoring 57.32) and the talk in the skating community is that he’ll be the next great Canadian men’s singles skater. Nguyen, who won the junior nationals last year as a 12-year-old, said his goal skating in the senior ranks this season was just to have fun and to gain some experience.
It was mission accomplished on both fronts.
“Despite the last jump, the triple flip, everything went well,” he said. “It was fun skating for the audience especially with the foot work. I had lot of fun with them. I tried to bring them in with me.”
Nguyen even had a chance to talk to with his idol, Chan — sort of.
“He asked me where the clock was in the dressing room and I told him it was around the corner,” said Nguyen, with a laugh.