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Patrick Chan Makes a Coaching Change

Patrick Chan will be coached choreographer Lori Nichol with assistance from technical expert Christy Krall. While Chan had been seen working out with Krall in Colorado Springs, Colo. recently, the move comes as a surprise with the 2010 Canadian Figure Skating Championships and 2010 Olympic Winter Games looming on the horizon.

Laws helped direct Chan to two national titles.

Chan’s coach, Don Laws, informed Skate Canada this week that he will not be attending the 2010 BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships or the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, according to a press release issued by the Canadian organization. Laws plans to take on a full-time role at a new skating facility in West Palm Beach called Palm Beach Ice Works.

“I would like to sincerely thank Mr. Laws for everything he has done over the past few years with me and I wish him nothing but the best at the Palm Beach Ice Works,” said Chan from his training base in Colorado Springs. “I respect his decision to move into his role full-time and I know he will build a successful program at the new rink.

“He (Laws) has been a real mentor to me,” Chan added. “I know that my former coach Mr. (Osborne) Colson would have greatly appreciated the work that Mr. Laws did.” Prior to his death in 2006, Colson was Chan’s longtime coach. The Canadian legend died in Toronto on July 14 of that year with Chan at his bedside. Colson had been suffering from pneumonia and other complications from a car accident earlier in the year.

Chan said he is extremely comfortable with his preparation and training for both the Canadian Figure Skating Championships and the 2010 Olympic Games. “Lori Nichol will take on the responsibility of leading my final preparation and competition strategy through the Olympics,” he said. “I am very fortunate to have had such a long and close relationship with Lori and I respect her talents immensely. Lori, along with Christy Krall, provides me with a team that I have full confidence in and I am looking forward to continuing my journey with them.”

Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada's High Performance director, praised for Laws in the Skate Canada press release. “Don Laws’ knowledge and guidance has been a valued asset to Patrick's skating over the past few seasons,” Slipchuk said. “Moving forward, Skate Canada fully supports the team of Lori Nichol and Christy Krall and the technical expertise and competitive preparation they will bring to Patrick leading to the Olympic Games.”

The Colorado Springs World Arena is home to a number of top U.S. skaters, including Brandon Mroz (sreigning U.S. men's silver medalist), Ryan Bradley (2007 U.S. men's silver medalist) and Rachael Flatt (two-time and reigning U.S. ladies silver medalist) who all train with Tom Zakrajsek, last year’s PSA Coach of the Year.

In a United States Olympic Committee teleconference call conference call earlier in the week, Bradley acknowledged that Chan had been working under Krall’s guidance at the club but did not see the move as permament

“I skate with him (Chan) every day. He has been out here for about three weeks,” Bradley said on Wednesday (Jan. 6). “It has been great having him and I wish him the best of luck. ... I hope he comes back some time.”

Bradley called Chan a great example of a true champion. “He is a great skater and is such a down-to-earth guy,” Bradley added. “Normally it would intimating to have a World medalist come into your rink, especially right before nationals but it has been awesome. It has been fun having him. He has pushed me to up my skating skills. He is so brilliant at that and so natural. … It has been motivating.”

Chan, who turned 19 on Dec. 31, is a two-time Canadian champion and the 2009 World silver medalist.