Patrick Chan Says 2018 Olympics Is His Favorite After Not Medaling in Free Skate

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2018

Patrick Chan of Canada performs during the men's free program in the team figure skating event at the Pyeonchang Winter Olympics Monday, February 12, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
Paul Chiasson/Associated Press

Canada's Patrick Chan sports an illustrious figure skating resume, but he failed to add another Olympic medal to it in the men's individual competition that aired live in the United States on Friday.

Chan entered the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as a three-time world champion and 10-time national champion. He also captured the silver medal in the men's competition in the 2014 Sochi Games, and the Canadian Press (h/t Sportsnet) noted he is retiring.

He was unable to bolster his medal collection in his final Games, as Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu and Shoma Uno and Spain's Javier Fernandez took home gold, silver and bronze, respectively. That didn't stop him from enjoying himself in what he called his favorite Olympic experience.

"This is the best Olympic experience out of the three, because I was in control," Chan said, per the Canadian Press. "I was not dying out of breath."

Chan finished in ninth place with a total score of 263.43 (90.01 in the short program and 173.42 in the free skate), which was well behind the dominant Hanyu's 317.85.

Chan was looking to make Canadian history at these Games. As Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star noted, the country came to Pyeongchang without a single gold medal in men's individual figure skating competition, despite its standing as "a figure skating colossus."

While Chan finished in fifth place in the 2010 Games in front of the home fans in Vancouver, he nearly changed that in Sochi but missed a double Axel in his program and settled for silver behind Hanyu. He also won the silver as part of the team competition in 2014.

"My career has had a lot of challenges like this and I think I can learn a lot more from having a lot of ups and downs," he said after his performance in Pyeongchang, per the Canadian Press. "But today my goal was to land both Axels and get them solid. I am happy I landed on my feet on both of those."

Despite finishing off the podium Friday, Chan already made his mark on these Olympics by helping lead Canada to the gold medal in the team competition. He finished in third place in the men's single short program and first place in the men's single free skating program and earned 18 critical points for his country (eight for third and 10 for first).

He outscored the likes of Mikhail Kolyada of the Olympic Athletes from Russia and Adam Rippon of the United States in the free skate battle, helping set the tone as Canada won gold in the team event, while the Russian athletes captured silver and the Americans settled for bronze.

Chan is 27 years old and his Olympic days are behind him, but he is a Canadian icon in the sport. While that individual gold remained elusive, he at least prevailed in the team competition.

"I hope that people will one day look back at my skating and what I brought to the table (and say) 'Remember when Patrick skated like this? Or remember when skating was like this?' That would be a cool legacy to leave behind," Chan said, per Lori Ewing of the Canadian Press (h/t Huffington Post). "Or maybe the way skating is now is because of me—adding more quads and having a good balance all around the skater."

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