By anyone’s standards, if you have an Olympic Gold medal and 2 silvers as well as three World titles and 10 Canadian national titles, you are in a league of your own. Skate Ontario legend Patrick Chan is that guy and I reached out to him to ask what it’s like to be preparing for Worlds in the last few days before competing. His answers about this and so many other topics were illuminating.

Let’s start with Worlds and what it means to get there. “I am honoured to have been in the top 1% of my sport which is who makes it to Worlds,” said Patrick. “There are so many skaters who have worked just as hard and never got the opportunity. I am deeply grateful.”

Patrick believes that getting to this level in figure skating puts you in the position of role model for those coming up behind you. He is practical in terms of how he would have been preparing for his own Worlds competitions: get plenty of rest and in the week before the competition, take some extra time off so as not to become overwhelmed.

“The week before the competition, it’s so relatable whether it’s Worlds or Nationals or Provincials, there is a lot going on in terms of getting ready “I remember vividly my last practice before Junior Worlds, and it was a mess! I felt unprepared and like a fraud.” The point of the story he says is that it’s normal. It’s so normal to the point of being predictable. Patrick continues that your body is reacting already for what it knows (even subconsciously) is a big event coming up. It’s a question of your body trying to deal with the big emotions inherent in competing, where the last thing it wants to do is deal with something as precise as a figure skating program – so the ‘fight or flight’ response kicks in. (His Dad, Lewis Chan ‘talked him off that ledge’ as he has so many times commented Patrick with a smile.)

Skating is tricky. You’re out there on your own once your name is called and there can be a huge gap between the finish of the 6-minute warm-up and when your program begins. There is an aspect of wanting to ‘get it over with’. The longer there is to wait the more the ‘jitters’ have time to take hold. “I felt like a caged tiger during that time. I just wanted to get out there and get it (my program) started,” offered Patrick.

The solution to the stress of competing? Patrick says: “It’s important to be compassionate and understand the situation you are in and adjust your expectations accordingly.” Skaters should consider that the hard work is done, they are trained and prepared for this moment, and it is just a question of waiting your turn to skate. It’s not easy and there are lots of factors that can interfere with a good skate, but it shouldn’t be because the best of the best the skating world has to offer didn’t already arrive in Montreal at Worlds with the right tools in their tool belt.

More insight into competing at Worlds and even a little about Provincials:


Patrick Chan is headed to Montreal as the Athlete Ambassador for the World Championships and is looking forward to getting on site. He will be watching skating. A LOT of skating but you know he has a soft spot for the men’s event especially seeing Ilia Malinin in person, and because his wife Liz (Elizabeth Putnam) was a former pair skater, he will be watching that with special interest as well. He is also looking forward to the women’s event and seeing Maddie Schizas with whom he shared time during Stars on Ice and of course, Piper and Paul.

‘I feel so fortunate. I don’t feel like I worked harder than my other National Team members or other competitors. I am lucky. Everything clicked and I got the chance to represent my country and my province in my chosen sport,” said Patrick.

We’re the lucky ones and we are so #SkateOntarioProud to call Patrick Chan one of our own.

The ISU World Figure Skating Championships will be streamed – for more information, visit:

As always – send your messages of support using the hashtag #SkateOntarioProud to our athletes, follow Skate Ontario on all our social media and if you want to check out what everyone is saying use the hashtag #FigureSkating.


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