Year of adventure gives Patrick Chan perspective
TORONTO (AP) Falling to Earth from 13,000 feet helped Patrick Chan put life in perspective.
''You pull the chute and, oh my gosh, the view is amazing,'' Chan said. ''It just makes you realize how small I am and how small the figure skating world is.''
Chan was set to go sky diving again Tuesday in Montreal with fellow Canadian figure skaters Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, Eric Radford, Jeffrey Buttle and Joannie Rochette, who introduced Chan to the open skies while in Florida recently.
The 24-year-old three-time world champion confirmed last week he was returning to skating after an adventurous year off that included not only sky diving but surfing, and back-country skiing. He even has his own ice wine label, set for release in June.
He thinks these pursuits will ''help with my return to skating, to just remind myself that `Hey, look at how great of a life I have, and skating and the place I finish doesn't affect at all who I am and what I can do with it.'''
Chan didn't dare tell coach Kathy Johnson about sky diving until after he was back on safe ground.
''So that I wouldn't deal with her wrath,'' Chan said, laughing.
He drew parallels between leaping from a plane and stepping onto the ice.
''Very, very frightening,'' Chan said during a conference call Tuesday. ''The anticipation was very, very similar.''
The seven-time Canadian champion stepped away from competition after winning a silver medal at last year's Sochi Olympics. He believes he would have resumed skating even if won gold.
Post-Olympic seasons usually are lacking and Chan wasn't all that impressed by what he saw.
''Nothing too special - no offense,'' he said. ''It was a very exciting competition, of course technically everyone did all the quads (quadruple jumps), but we've had two, three seasons of these quads coming back into the men's field, so that's to be expected now.
''At this point, especially myself, I look to a skater who is pushing the boundaries programwise.''
Chan hopes to do just that.
''I want to skate a program that I can get off the ice and say `I'm proud of what I just did,''' he said. ''I hope it's something people will look back in years to come, or coaches can play a program to skaters to say `This is what it takes to be a champion, and this is what skating is all about.'''
With that, Chan turned his attention to his afternoon of sky diving.
''The world is very, very big and there are many people who are doing many different things,'' Chan said. ''I want to give the best I can and have that rush, live for that rush of figure skating.''