As She’s Got it All by Kenny Chesney echoed in the background at the Gangneung Ice Arena, Patrick Chan took his seat and awaited his score. The storied figure skater had just finished his routine to Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley. The performance was far from perfect, and Chan was not going to medal again at the 2018 Winter Olympics. However, in the moment, none of that mattered.
Centre stage was the emotion of the final skate of the Canadian figure skating legend’s career. Patrick Chan has given so much to the sport but, at the age of 27, the time is right for Chan to retire, head held high. Although he has greatly advanced the sport, the competition has passed him by.
With Chan’s career coming to an end, it would be erroneous not to look back at how he architected some of the greatest moments in Canadian figure skating history.
Patrick Chan’s Olympic Silver Medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics
No Canadian in men’s figure skating history has ever won an Olympic Gold Medal. In 2014, after Japanese figure-skating sensation Yuzuru Hanyu delivered a performance below his standards, Chan had an opportunity to take home the most coveted piece of hardware.
However, Chan did not deliver the routine he had hoped. His skate secured the silver medal, and although he could not end the drought, Chan delivered a magnificent moment for many Canadians.
Patrick Chan wins his first World Championship
In 2011, Patrick Chan took the ice at Megasport Arena in Moscow, Russia with promise. After back-to-back silvers at the World Championships, Chan was determined to win gold.
After a short program which awarded Chan an astounding score of 93.02, he followed it up with a free skating score of 187.96. Both tallies were competition bests, marking the beginning of Chan’s golden streak at the World Championships.
Patrick Chan wins his third straight World Championship
It was 2013, a year which saw Patrick Chan deliver mixed results. He finished sixth at the Japan Open, and managed a third-place finish at the Grand-Prix finals. Chan, however, was not thinking about those results as he vied for his third-straight World Championships in London, Ontario.
Much like 2011, Chan delivered a masterful skate in the short program, guiding him to a competition high of 98.37. He then produced an excellent free-skate, accumulating a score of 169.41. Chan’s combined total of 267.78 would be worthy of his third-straight World Championships, joining Kurt Browning (1989-1991) as the only Canadians to ever win three straight ISU World Figure Skating Championships.
As the career of the Canadian figure-skating great comes to a close, it is important to remember how Patrick Chan was able to conjoin both elements of the discipline. His ability to master the technical facet, and couple it with his artistic excellence made him a truly mesmerizing talent.
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