MONCTON, N.B. - When a journalist spotted Patrick Chan carrying a Canadian flag after his winning performance at the national championships on Sunday, he remarked: "Oh, now you're carrying a Canadian flag.'
To which Chan replied: “Don’t even!”
It was all in good fun. Chan landed in some hot water earlier this season when he made a remark about how athletes in China (his parents’ homeland) are supported better than athletes in Canada. (He later claimed that the comments were taken out of context).
In any event, while Chan would rather avoid controversy these days, Skate Canada, the governing body for figure skating, is courting it. SC announced on Sunday that, instead of automatically placing the ladies singles champ from this weekend’s nationals — Amelie Lacoste — on the team for the world championships in March, they will send both Lacoste and second-place finisher here Cynthia Phaneuf to the Four Continents championships, Feb. 6-12 in Colorado Springs, with only one skater afterwards being selected for the worlds — in all likelihood the winner from the Four Continents.
After her win on Saturday, Lacoste said she deserves to go to the worlds, while Phaneuf said she deserves to go to the worlds, based on her superior finishes in competitions past, including her fifth-place showing at the 2010 worlds. One thing’s for sure: When the Four Continents are over, one skater will be thrilled and the other very upset.