This week Patrick Chan announced he’ll be taking the 2014/2015 season off but has plans to return Fall 2015.
I though this was an interesting decision. I love Patrick Chan and always have and honestly thought we had seen the end of him in competition. I was pleasantly surprised with this announcement.
Looking back at the 2014 Olympics Patrick just didn’t stand a chance. There was too much pressure and his technical skills just didn’t hold up. Sochi looked like the beginning of the end for Patrick; others had caught and passed him. I had resigned myself to believing we’d never see Patrick in a competitive atmosphere again and I was perfectly ok with that.
Days after this announcement came the Japan Open. This little pro-am competition puts skaters into teams based on region: Team North America, Team Japan and Team Europe. Patrick represented Team North America and debuted a new freeskate to a Chopin Medley (flashes of Alexei in Vancouver).
The program was typical Patrick brilliance, I forgot how much I enjoyed Patrick’s basic skating skills. Brilliant! On top of that, Patrick nailed it, clean program! This looked like a new Patrick with no pressure or expectations.
After watching this I’m a little sad he’s not going to be competing all season. But if this is the Patrick we see only 7 months after Sochi I look forward to what we’ll see a year from now. I hope he can find balance and skate without the pressure and expectations of a nation. I wish him the best of luck!