Tuesday, 28/1/2020 | : : UTC-8
Skate Today

Chan Clips Buttle’s Wings

With amazing grace seventeen-year-old prodigy Patrick Chan took to the ice at the Pacific Coliseum Saturday, and became one of the youngest Canadian Senior Men’s Champions in the history of Canadian skating. It was originally thought Chan was the youngest but this has since been contested. Charles Snelling who was a six-time national champion reportedly claimed his first title in 1954 at the age of 16.

When Patrick was told of his feat his first comment was, “Holy Schmolly I didn’t know that!”

The 2007 World junior silver medalist edged out three-time Canadian Champion Jeffrey Buttle but the unpretentious teenager plays down any rivalry between the Canadian skaters.

“Jeffrey is my teammate, and I consider him a friend. He is an remarkable skater, and I can learn a lot from him” Patrick stated. “I did not come here to beat Jeff, I came here to get a spot on the World team, Chan emphasized.

Patrick who now has a complete set of Canadian medals – winning pre-novice in 2003, novice in 2004, juniors in 2005 and now seniors in 2008. The Toronto based teen is now coached by Don Laws and Ellen Burka but attributes his superb basic skating skills and sportsmanship attitude to his late coach Osbourne Colson who passed away in 2006 – at the age of 90.

Unbeknownst to many, Chan, who has not only excelled in ice skating, but is quite accomplished as a concert pianist and plays a mean game of tennis.

The highly musical skater gave a thumbs up performance to “Le Quattro Stagioni” by Vivaldi.

The 2007 Trophee Bompard Champion displayed a beautiful array of elements which reflected the nuances in the music.

Chan’s jumps were solid. He opened with a triple Axel with a pillow-soft landing, then followed it with a great triple flip/triple toe. His triple Lutz was stellar as was his double Axel and solo triple flip. He completed two additional combinations – a triple Lutz/double toe/double loop and a triple Salchow/double toe.

Patrick told the media, “Once I landed my opening triple Axel. I was on cruising after that.”

The youngster who gains power and speed with each stroke on the ice, highlighted his program with intricate patterns on his level thee steps.

The roar of the audience was deafening, as the crowd rose to its feet at the end of Patrick’s awe-inspiring free skate. The highly charismatic young phenomenon received a personal best score of 159.26 points and gathered a combined total of 232.68 points to capture his first senior title.

“I want to bring (Canada) three spots home for worlds next year,” Chan said with excitement. “This is my goal. We’ve got so many good Canadian guys.”

Buttle was no slouch in his free skate to “Ararat” by Michael Danna, but the overnight leader slid one spot when he was unable to match Chan’s magical performance.

The Olympic bronze medalist returned to his former program after having lackluster results earlier this season. The three-time Canadian Champion delivered a beautiful program which included six clean triple jumps.

However, his program was not without errors as the 2007 World silver medalist fell on his solo triple Axel and doubled the Lutz. His intricate footwork was impressive and his top-like spins superb.

“I’d rather be second with a good skate than to have a bad skate and win,” said Buttle. “The energy in the arena was awesome. I know they were cheering for Patrick’s marks, but it got me fired up. Before the music started, I told myself I’m not going to give up without a fight.”

The twenty-five-year-old earned a segment score of 149.05 points. Buttle edged Chan on the components receiving the highest of the competition(79.26/77.60 points) but came up short on the technical. His event total of 229.85 points held him steadily in second place winning the silver medal by over thirty-two points.

“I knew as soon as the technical marks went up,” said Buttle. “I was really disappointed that I didn’t get my fourth title. My training is going really well, and I will go into Four Continents with more confidence.”

Sawyer was all smiles and had a superior skate jumping his way onto the podium with his flexibility and style.

Skating a lyrical program to “Moments in Love” by Art of Noise the twenty-two-year-old returns to the podium after placing third in 2005 and 2006 but managed only fourth place last season.

Sawyer opened his program with an outstanding level four change foot combination spin into a solid triple flip/triple toe. The twelfth place finisher at the 2006 Olympic Games, danced has way to the triple Axel but landed on two feet and then managed only level one on his circular steps.

Sawyer highlighted his program with a steady triple loop + triple loop sequence followed by triple Salchow/double toe/double loop combination. The Canadian, who trains under Annie Barabe in Quebec, received positive GOE’s for his sensational spins and straight line steps. He gathered 133.48 points for his free skate and a competition total of 197.48 points – a new personal best.

The Alberta boy, Vaughn Chipeur, from Edmonton, rose to the fourth spot despite a sixth place

free skate to the soundtracks from “Dances with Wolves, Out of Africa, and Zulu” by John Barry.

Probably, the most consistent triple Axel man on the Canadian team failed on both attempts this evening. Chipeur put his hands down on the first and popped the second into a single.

The twenty-three-year-old offered a marred triple flip/ double toe yet managed a strong triple Lutz. He later doubled the loop and landed on two feet.

The 2004 Junior Canadian Champion regained his form landing a nice triple Salchow and followed it with a stellar triple Lutz/double toe/double toe. He delivered four solid spins but his footwork was a mere level two. However, it was good enough to pull up to fourth place with an event total 191.36 points.

Dropping like a stone to fifth place overall was Christopher Mabee of Tillsonburg, Ontario with a free program worth 120.18 points.

The 2006 Four Continents silver medalist produced an error prone program to “Sing, Sing, Sing” by Bob Fosse which seemed elusive of the twenty-two-year olds usual charm.

Placing only seventh in the free skate the 2007 Canadian silver medalist struggled on his opening triple flip, went hands down on the first triple Axel and popped the second to a single. He managed five clean triples including a Lutz, loop, Salchow, Lutz/ double toe combination and wrapped it up with a solo triple toe.

Chris earned an event total of 190.64 points.

Kevin Reynolds placed sixth and made it to the history books with the first quad toe/triple toe/ triple loop ever landed at Canadians. Only the second man worldwide to accomplish this feat he placed fifth in the free program with 122.48 points.

His technical score was second only to Chan but the seventeen-year-old jumping bean suffered on the components and received only 52.46 points. His overall point total of 182.58 earned the teen a spot at the 2008 World Junior Championships.

Twenty-one-year-old Ken Rose gave a high-energy performance to “Sing! Sing! Sing!” by Louis Prima which lifted the 2003 Canadian Junior Champion to seventh spot overall after placing fourth in the free with 122.48 points. His total event score was 181.69 points – a new personal best.

The much talked about return of Fedor Andreev fell short of expectations when Fedor finished eleventh in his “Tango Concerto” by Astor Piazzolla.

The Russian born skater who has been out of competition due to a back injury, earned the third highest component scores behind Chan and Buttle. However, the Senior Challenge Champion was unable to produce the technical content of the top men and tumbled to eighth place overall with 178.80 points.

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