19 December 2017 0 Comments Posted By : The Canadian Press

Change of scenery: Patrick Chan rejuvenated by move to Vancouver

Days after missing the Skate Canada International podium for the first time in eight years, and with only a few months left of his competitive career, Patrick Chan felt stuck.

He craved a change of scenery, and a better sense of balance. So he headed west, where he travelled for a couple of weeks before settling in Vancouver.

"I felt like I had the blues a bit, I just couldn't push myself to go to the rink and get really good work done," Chan said.

The three-time world champion was fourth at Skate Canada in October in Regina, plummeting from second after an error-filled free skate. He then withdrew from NHK Trophy a couple of weeks later in Japan, which automatically eliminated him from December's Grand Prix Final.

Chan, who turns 27 on New Year's Eve, spent a good week and a half off the ice, travelling to Tofino, a picturesque beach town on the west coast of Vancouver Island, and Bowen Island, which sits at the entrance to Howe Sound and is a popular destination for hikers and mountain bikers.

He's been in Vancouver since, where he plans to stay at least through next month's national championships.

Regaining that energy

"The lifestyle of Vancouver does seem to really draw me towards there," Chan said.

Chan said Marina Zoueva, his coach in Canton, Mich., supported the move, telling him "'Patrick, whatever makes you happy, I'm happy you've found a place where you could regain that energy,' and kind of the drive, the push," he said.

"They've done so much for me, and I really wanted it to be an open-book policy, I didn't want it to be 'Oh I'm running away,' and not letting them know. So I kept things very open."

He said he and Zoueva speak every week or two. But for now, his training is a team effort that includes Elizabeth Putnam, a former pairs skater who writes training plans for many of the top skaters in Vancouver's Lower Mainland, plus Skate Canada physiologist Kelly Quipp, among others.

Chan was flying from Toronto to Edmonton on Monday night to work with Ravi Walia, coach of world silver medallist Kaetlyn Osmond.

Walia, who used to be a caller — a specialist on the judging panel who identifies and calls a program's elements, and their level of difficulty — has already been instrumental in rejigging a couple of jumps in Chan's free program.

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