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

Police investigating ‘unprovoked attack’ at Uptown bus stop

Man was attacked while waiting at Douglas St bus stop Sunday night

Intense winds could reach 70km in Greater Victoria

Environment Canada issued wind warning for Dec. 17

Saanich police are seeking suspect in sexual assault report

Incident happened early Saturday morning near Rudd Park

Each Canadian household spent almost $64,000 on goods and services in 2017

Households in B.C. each spent $71,001 with housing costs contributing to higher average

Juno Award-winner laying the Hammer down in Victoria

Jazz and boogie woogie pianist Michael Kaeshammer returns to where it all began

Langford elementary school kids test their hand at entrepreneurship

Students sold their own products at a Young Entrepreneurs Fair Friday

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Top of mind: ‘Justice’ is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year

Merriam-Webster has chosen “justice” as its 2018 word of the year, driven by the churning news cycle and President Trump’s Twitter feed.

‘Spider-Verse’ swings to the top; ‘Mortal Engines’ tanks

“Spider-Verse” has been very well-received among critics, and audiences in exit surveys gave it a rare A+ CinemaScore.

Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

RCMP estimated more than 1,500 people attended the rally in Grande Prairie

White House closer to partial shutdown with wall demand

Without a resolution, parts of the federal government will shut down at midnight on Friday, Dec. 21

Struggling Vancouver Island family needs help after baby born two months premature

A GoFundMe page has been set up as a difficult pregnancy and a long stay in Victoria have left the family struggling to get by

Canucks score 3 power-play goals in 4-2 win over Oilers

Vancouver sniper Boeser has 6 goals in last 5 games

Most Read