Excerpts from the media scrum with Patrick Chan at the Skate Canada High Performance Camp on August 31.
On moving to Vancouver to open a new rink:
Because everyone had their plates full we pushed the move to December. It would have been challenging but that would have been the best time.
Now with the current situation with Kathy, that has been put on the back burner altogether. Right now I really just need to be in one place and have my mind solid and one singular focus. I can’t be thinking about that, the coaching situation and competitions — I will spread myself too thin. So the best move I thought would be to put that on hold completely because Kathy was a part of that plan. So that obviously changes things.
There is a plan at some time — the whole rink, skating school and wanting to develop it is absolutely still a plan.
Will he be executing the plan in the future?
This goes back to me being back on the ice by myself and training myself. I have finally been able to use all the tools that I have been given from Kathy, from Kristy, from Don, from Mr. Coulson, from David — all these people — and take the best from all those people because not everyone has the magical solutions; I am taking a little bit here and there and combining them. I feel like I am learning right now for the skating school to identify what are things that I want to share with upcoming skaters and what will benefit them the most efficiently.
On the split with Kathy Johnson:
No comment. An official statement will be made next week. I am good with it. It is refreshing to be with myself and to really enjoy skating again. I did not have that opportunity before. It is fun to do quads now; it is fun to do these programs and going at my own pace — it is really nice.
Putting a new team together:
I am so thankful that I have a federation that is really behind me. Mike (Slipchuk), Skate Canada and I are discussing options. I am not making any decisions coaching-wise because right now the priority is to get these programs out and see what people think about them. I am competing at Finlandia (Trophy) which is the first time that I am doing a senior B event before my Grand Prixs. So that is my priority.
I spent a lot of time working with a coach so it is nice to just skate on my own and be in a good environment.
Do you think not having a head coach is putting you behind at all?
No. It is just refreshing to just spend time on the ice on my own. I have been digesting so much information that I have not had time to figure out what works and what doesn’t work, so…
Who will go to competitions with you this season?
I have not made that decision yet. There are people that I am thinking about, which is natural, but there is no ‘you’re going to be the one, 100 percent,’ at Finlandia, let’s say. I am not here with anyone because I did not want that. I am not 100 percent sure on anyone.
I have the maturity at 25 I believe to look after myself on the ice. I can look after myself off the ice. It is nice to just take a breath by myself and go to the rink by myself and spend time on my own.
Have you been working with anyone at Canton?
I have not really spent any time with anyone there. Marina is aware of the situation, of course, because it is her rink. She has been very supportive. If I do want to work with anyone I just let her know and she books me in.
That is what is going to be ahead — experimenting. I am going to try everybody whether it is in Canton or across the country — whether in Canada or the U.S. — those are the things I am thinking about and discussing with Skate Canada so we make the right decision.
I have the confidence to train myself. Every time I step on the ice I know what I am going to do. I have a plan. ‘OK, today I am going to go through my jumps and then do my short program. Then next session I will go through the long program.’ That is how it kind of was with Kathy anyway, which is why the transition has not been that challenging for me. When I would get on with Kathy, she would really be a tool as I am the one dictating what program I was doing that session. Kathy was not the kind of coach who was very pushy like that, and that was fine. It actually turned out to be very helpful to help me mature. Kathy was never possessive over programs.
It is nice to know that I don’t need to be babysat. At the end of the day, it is me running the race.
How hard was last season?
I don’t think I realized how tough it was until the end of the season. Extremely frustrating; every little mistake you notice — even the most useless mistakes that you should not get upset about, you start picking on those and become more of a perfectionist.
All about the quads:
I feel like I’m much more of a hunter in this world of men’s figure skating at the moment. I did a tour in Japan with Shoma (Uno), and he’s doing quad flips like it’s none of his business. It is easier than his triple flip — that’s what I hear. It is just jaw dropping to see the level of skating and what these young guys are doing.
But it’s also nice to just get away from that. I can remove myself and think about what I can do and what I can bring to the table. I’m can still do two quad toes and I’m hoping to do a quad Salchow at Finlandia, if all things go well.
I have my own challenges and they have theirs, but their level of jumps is a little higher.