Figure Skating

The Canadian Press - Wednesday Dec. 11, 2013 14:24 ET

Patrick Chan eager to put tiring Grand Prix Final behind him

Sochi medal contender looks ahead to nationals in Ottawa

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Patrick Chan, the reigning world champion, says he's feeling the effects of a busy Grand Prix season. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Three-time world champion Patrick Chan wasn't thrilled with his silver medal performance at the Grand Prix Final last week in Fukuoka, but told the Canadian Press he will recharge ahead of next month's nationals.       

The Toronto skater will carry huge expectations into the Sochi Olympics. He's a favourite to win Canada's first ever Olympic gold in men's singles.   

Chan, who was fifth four years ago at the Vancouver Games, said part of him is already thinking past the Olympics -- more specifically, about what he can give back.

"It's that time of my life, I'm almost 23 years old, I'm not that kid any more who has no responsibility, I have responsibility, I've represented Canada for a long time internationally, and take that next step to mature even more, and grow as a person, grow as an athlete, because there's only so much you can grow in training and on the ice," Chan said. "How can you make your career even better, after the Olympics? 

Chan said he's not sure what his plans will be after Sochi.

He settled for silver at the Grand Prix Final, the biggest pre-Olympic event of the season.   

Team Christmas party

Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, who had a 12-point lead on Chan after the short program, won gold, eclipsing Chan by 13 points overall.   

Having some time to look back on the weekend, the Canadian said he was pleased he was able to pull out a strong free program on what wasn't a great week all around. He said he was feeling the effects of a busy season.   

"It was a tough one, it was not as easy as Paris [Trophee Bompard three weeks earlier, where he set three world-record scores in winning]," Chan said. "Paris was like a walk in the park, I felt good, I didn't feel tired at the end, my legs weren't dying.   

"Japan, I was barely able to stand after my [final] spin, then sitting in the kiss and cry, I was cramping like crazy. I had to have Barb [MacDonald, of Skate Canada] and Kathy [Johnston, his coach] hold me when I was walking to the press area.   

"It was weird, maybe it was the jet lag, it's been a long season, my knees were hurting, I got a lot of physio and had to ice my knees and I never have to do that. It's been such a long season, I've only had a week and a half between my Grand Prixes."  

Chan has a couple of days off then will head back to Detroit to prepare for the Canadian championships in early January in Ottawa, and then the final push to Sochi.   He won't take a Christmas vacation this season.   

"No Hawaii this time, I won't have a suntan at nationals," he said. "I think all the skaters are staying in Detroit for Christmas, like Kaitlyn [Weaver] and Andrew [Poje]. It will be great, we'll make our own little Christmas party or New Years party." 

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