Patrick Chan News

Where the Blackbird Flies: Stop 5 – Ottawa

Last updated: Wednesday, January 18, 2017

After a nice holiday break, it is now time for the 2017 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Ottawa! Patrick is up for the chance to be national champion for the ninth time, which would mean tying Montgomery Wilson’s record for the most championships won in Canadian figure skating history!

For more information on the event, visit the Canadian nationals English site or French site.

What Patrick Said About It

In an interview last Friday, Patrick said nationals was important to building his confidence (article):

It is a goal, I don’t like focusing, generally, on results, on wins and the records, but there’s something about being in Canada and winning at home that’s extremely special.

In order to train and compete in an optimal way both mentally and physically, Patrick now works with a sports psychologist, something he used to be adamantly against doing.

I’ve been working with sports psychologists trying to deal with controlling the anticipation, the anxiety, obviously the nervousness… Trying to control, whether it’s with breathing exercises or using actual tools or machines or whatever to keep myself calm leading up to my turn to skate…

As a relatively new fan, I’ve been surprised at how long Patrick has competed without consulting a mental coach, but I’m ecstatic that he’s doing it now. Last year, I started encouraging him on Twitter with motivational quotes for this very reason. I knew he was capable of excellent performances every time if he believed in himself and didn’t allow anything to distract him. I’m very happy that he is now much more open to ideas for performance improvement. If he keeps this up, who knows what he will accomplish next? Go Patrick, go!

Where to Watch the Competition

Online Live Stream: The championship will be live streamed from the event web site here. Check often for updates to the live streaming schedule.

Canadian Broadcast Schedule: The senior men’s competitions will be broadcast by TSN and CTV. See the Canadian television broadcasting schedule here.

The Timezones

For those of you watching the event live, the Men’s short program event will begin on Friday, January 20 at 6:10 PM local time, according to the competition timetable. Here are the global time zones:

Convert more time zones here.

The Senior Men’s free skate (for programs 11-21) will begin on Saturday, January 21 at 8:03 PM local time.

The Exhibition Gala will begin on Sunday, January 22 at 2:00 PM local time. For more information about the event, see the official English site or French site.

The City
Skating on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Saffron Blaze / Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Skating on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Saffron Blaze / Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Located by the Ottawa River in the southeastern part of Ontario, the name “Ottawa” means “to trade” in the Algonquin language, a name given to the city in 1855 in reference to the river. Ottawa is the capital and fourth largest city in Canada, with a population of almost 900,000 people. It is the largest bilingual city in the nation, with over one-third of the population being able to speak both English and French, just like Patrick.

See the official tourism site here and the travel guide in English here. Ottawa is in the same time zone as Canton, Michigan, so Patrick will not need adjust to any time differences.

The Competition Event

The Canadian National Skating Championships is the annual competition sponsored by Skate Canada to determine the Canadian national champions and teams to the World Championships and Four Continents Championships. The annual event began in 1905, with Osmond Haycock winning the first gold in the men’s competition. However, the first official Canadian championship was declared in 1914 and hosted in Ottawa.

Other notable Canadian champions included Montgomery Wilson, who won nine times, Osborne Colson, Patrick’s beloved first career coach, Toller Cranston, Brian Orser, Kurt Browning, and one of my favorites of the late 90s, Elvis Stojko.

Patrick has competed at this event at the senior level since 2007. The next year, he won the event at age 17. Ever since then, Patrick has won every Canadian national championship except for the 2015 event, when he was on hiatus. This year, he looks to claim his ninth national championship, which would tie him with Montgomery Wilson for the most Canadian titles ever won.

TD Place Arena. (Photo by Jfvoll / Source: Wikimedia Commons)
TD Place Arena. (Photo by Jfvoll / Source: Wikimedia Commons)

This year’s competition will be held at TD Place from January 16-22, 2017. See the detailed practice and competition schedule and the official announcement and information package. Tickets can be purchased here.

The People

Besides coach Marina and Skate Canada’s High Performance Director, Mike Slipchuk, Patrick will see all of his Canadian team mates and competitors at this event. Kurt Browning will also act as Athlete Ambassador to skaters, fans, and the media.

Patrick will compete against the other men on this list. Following are the top-ranked skaters according to ISU’s World Standings (Patrick currently ranks #5):

#24: Nam Nguyen (CO)
#39: Kevin Reynolds (BC/YK)
#49: Roman Sadovsky (CO)
#56: Nicolas Nadeau (QC)
#57: Liam Firus (BC/YK)
#58: Elladj Balde (QC)

Last year in Halifax, Liam and Kevin took second and third place after Patrick, respectively. This year, the podium may be reshuffled to include newcomers. Either way, it will be exciting to watch!

As for Patrick’s Canton training mates Nathan Chen and the Shibutanis, they will be in Kansas City competing at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships at the same time!

I am so excited that Patrick will be going into nationals this year with a new approach, new goals and a new mindset. His quest for performance improvement is very admirable and I believe he will see the results that he wants as he continues to work on his mental approach to competition. Former Canadian and World champion Jeffrey Buttle praised Patrick in a recent interview, saying:

Not a single skater can match his basic skating skills, edge control or power. His success is not only due to his early coaching… but of course a testament to his training and hard work. Talent can only take you so far; it’s hard work and dedication that separates the good from the great.

My wish for Patrick is that he will accomplish two clean skates at this event, Four Continents, Worlds, and beyond. You can do it, Patrick!

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