Patrick Chan hopes to open skating school in Vancouver

Three-time world champion moves on ‘with a huge smile’

Patrick Chan at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. (The Canadian Press)

In Patrick Chan’s perfect future, he’s running a skating school in Vancouver with girlfriend Liz Putnam, the two are living in a million-dollar apartment in the city’s lovely Kitsilano neighbourhood, and he’s enjoying a wildly successful career in commercial real estate.

It’s been two months since Chan took one final spin around the competitive rink, but the three-time world champion has barely paused to reflect. He’s loving looking forward.

“I’m just running around town doing what I want to do, and moving on with a huge smile on my face. I feel good and light,” Chan said, ahead of Monday’s retirement announcement.

“I had three or four things lined up that I wanted to just learn about, and that’s what I’m doing. I’m meeting people and picking their brain and understanding what life is like. I don’t think I had any sense of that when I was in the competitive world. It’s awesome. I’m just a sponge again. I’m just absorbing and learning.”

READ MORE: Fans greet returning Olympians in Vancouver

READ MORE: Canada brings home first gold in figure skating team event in Pyeongchang

The 27-year-old from Toronto, who sat out a season after the 2014 Sochi Olympics, was ninth in men’s singles at the Pyeongchang Olympics. But his terrific long program in the team event all but guaranteed Canada gold before dance duo Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir even stepped on the ice.

If he’d had any doubts about the comeback, that golden moment erased them.

“It would have been easy to be complacent and say ‘I don’t care, I’m just here to support the team and be a part of it,’ and I could’ve fallen back and said ‘I’ll let Tessa and Scott help me through this.’ I knew that this was my chance to shine and chance to prove I still had something to give.

“When I sat in that kiss-and-cry with my two different coaches right next to me smiling and having the entire team behind me as well, and having them all react to me winning … gosh that was a better feeling I think than winning individual gold. It’s a huge rush to see all these people that are genuinely smiling, and genuinely cheering, and they’re ecstatic, that’s so cool. To be able to say ‘I did it, we did it,’ that’s a very very special feeling.”

Chan had planned his retirement announcement for Sunday at Flat Rock Cellars in Jordan, Ont. Chan launched his ice wine “On Ice” in partnership with Flat Rock in 2015. But the weekend’s ice storm forced a rescheduling to Monday in Toronto.

The 10-time Canadian champion considered retiring after his heartbreaking silver-medal performance at the 2014 Sochi Games. And while his return wasn’t what he’d envisioned, he’s glad he came back.

“It wouldn’t have been fair to end after 2014, because I didn’t really have a good understanding of who I was and what my aspirations were and what I wanted from the sport. It just didn’t feel fulfilling, skating didn’t fulfil me completely.

“Now I basically have three highlights to my life: doing shows (like Stars on Ice), getting familiar with the commercial real estate world, which has been a lot of fun, and finally the third dream would be to have the skating rink going and building a skating program,” Chan said.

“I say to myself ‘Let’s see how everything unfolds one thing at a time … That’s a reason why this time around just feels right. It wouldn’t have felt right after Sochi.”

If there are any regrets, it’s that he played his cards too early before Sochi. Chan dominated men’s skating for three years before those Olympics, and when Chan added two quadruple jumps, the rest of the world followed suit, and eventually took the quad brigade a step further. American Nathan Chen does six quads in his long program.

“I hate going backwards, but if there is one regret … I would have been more strategic about adding the quads to the program, and built it one step at a time,” Chan said.

Chan will be known for his strength and speed on the ice, but also for artistry and exquisite skating skills that he hopes didn’t single him out as a dying breed in the sport.

“At the end of the day, the foundation of it all is the joy of skating and the glide and the power, that’s what’s amazing,” Chan said. ”I think eventually quads will all look the same, they’ll all look like triples. But the one thing that can differentiate a skater and create excitement in the sport is what skaters can bring to the table when it comes to interpretation and how they can match the beautiful glide of skating to music and to a performance.

“I want to play a part in making sure people don’t forget how important that aspect is.”

To that end, Chan and his girlfriend, a skating coach and former pairs skater, envision opening a skating school much like the Cricket Club in Toronto, and have already started laying the groundwork.

Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Chilliwack Lions Club has a new place to call home

After more than five years without a headquarters, Chilliwack Lions Club moves into new hall

Sardis Falcons top Heritage Woods in field lacrosse opener

The Falcons rallied from a halftime hole to take a big win on the road in Port Moody.

Chilliwack prolific offender charged in four alleged incidents in 12 days

Branden Tanner busted for alleged smash-and-grab Nov. 30, then incidents Dec. 3, Dec. 8 and Dec. 11

Four companies vying to open cannabis stores in locations across Chilliwack

Rezoning applications for non-medical cannabis outlets pending, and some will require variances

Christmas cheer, crafts and music at Chilliwack and Yarrow libraries

Make festive ornaments out of old books while enjoying Christmas music at Chilliwack libraries

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

Hundreds attend Hells Angels funeral in Maple Ridge

Body of Chad John Wilson found last month face-down under the Golden Ears Bridge.

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Gas prices to climb 11 cents overnight in Lower Mainland

Hike of 17 cents in less than 48 hours due to unexpected shutdown of Washington state pipeline

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

B.C. fire chief pleads with Ottawa for traumatic stress support

Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty presented concerns to federal government

Most Read