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Where the Blackbird Flies: Gliding Into Tokyo

Last updated: Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Last month, I thought Helsinki would be Patrick’s final stop this season, but it turns out that our Blackbird is not done yet, and now he goes to Tokyo to compete in the World Team Trophy event. Will he attempt two quads in his short program? Will he land all three quads in the long program? Will he finally join the 300-point club? The excitement begins!

Enjoy, everyone! #WTTFigure #2017WTT

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For more information on the competition, visit the official World Team Trophy site!

The Latest Word from Patrick

In his latest interview with Reuters, Patrick reiterated his concerns for skater’s health, his own commitment to keeping himself healthy, and made a (sure to be controversial) suggestion that the ISU might need to limit the number of quads in the long program.

I have a life outside of skating. I´m going to stick to what I can do… because if I try and … do the impossible, I will either get too frustrated to the point where I won´t enjoy the sport anymore or I will get hurt and maybe have to get hip replacements at age 30.

Maybe they (the ISU) need to limit the amount of quads you can do in the long program. But I don´t think that will happen until somebody actually does get hurt.

Actually, I agree with Patrick’s stance on the quad issue and the increased risk for injury that comes with it. I would much rather that he stay healthy now and beyond retirement, while keeping his love for skating intact. I had pointed out to him once that he was so lucky to have had a long career in competitive skating without any major injuries or surgeries. He is so blessed, and we fans are so lucky to see him still skating spectacularly at age 26!

Practice Schedules and Time Zones

The men will begin practicing on Wednesday, April 19. See the full colored time schedule here.

For those of you watching the event live, the men’s short program event will begin on Thursday, March 30 at 12:10 PM local time, according to the competition timetable.

The men’s short program will begin on Thursday, April 20 at 18:40 PM local time. The free skate will begin on Friday, April 21 at 19:00 PM local time. The Exhibition Gala will be on Sunday, April 23 at 14:00 PM local time.

For more information on the event, visit the official World Team Trophy site.

Where to Watch the Competition

Also see SYWTWFS‘ excellent “How to Watch” page listing multiple streaming links.

The Competition Event

The ISU ISU World Team Trophy in Figure Skating is an annual competition sponsored by the International Skating Union and hosted by the Japan Skating Federation. The event began in 2009 in Tokyo, with the United States team winning the first gold medal. So far in the history of the championship, the United States has won four times and Japan has won once.

Patrick competed in this event three times in 2009, 2012 and 2013. The Canadian teams won two silver and one bronze medal.

Canadian Figure Skating team members, front row from left, Meagan Duhamel, Kaetlyn Osmond, Cabrielle Daleman, Kaitlyn Weaver, rear row from left, Eric Radford, Kevin Reynolds, Patrick Chan, and Andrew Pole, pose with their silver medals for photographer during an award ceremony of the ISU World Team Trophy in Figure Skating in Tokyo, Saturday, April 13, 2013. (AP Photo / Koji Sasahara / Source: Sportsnet.ca)
Canadian Figure Skating team members, front row from left, Meagan Duhamel, Kaetlyn Osmond, Cabrielle Daleman, Kaitlyn Weaver, rear row from left, Eric Radford, Kevin Reynolds, Patrick Chan, and Andrew Pole, pose with their silver medals for photographer during an award ceremony of the ISU World Team Trophy in Figure Skating in Tokyo, Saturday, April 13, 2013. (AP Photo / Koji Sasahara / Source: Sportsnet.ca)

The Venue
This year’s competition will be held again in Tokyo at the Yoyogi National Stadium First Gymnasium from April 20-23, 2017. See the detailed practice and competition schedule and the official announcement.

Tickets can be purchased here.

The People

Canadian Team

Besides his team (pictured above), coaches, and Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada High Performance Director, Patrick will be accompanied by Meghan Buttle of Toronto, Ont., the team physiotherapist. Canadian officials at the event are Karen Butcher of Greely, Ont., and Karen Howard, Regina, Sask. See more about the Canadian entourage here.

The Men
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 #4):

#1: Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN)
#2: Shoma Uno (JPN)
#5: Jason Brown (USA)
#7: Boyang Jin (CHN)
#8: Maxim Kovtun (RUS)
#9: Mikhail Kolyada (RUS)
#10: Nathan Chen (USA)

Team Canada qualified first and has a good chance of winning the challenge. Good luck to Patrick and his team!

Other News Updates
How Patrick’s Skating Moves Us

Read Kirsten’s blog post on how Patrick’s programs this season have inspired her!

Take These Broken Wings and Learn to Fly

I am so grateful that Patrick did not let his fear of competing win out, because if he had not made a comeback, these three programs would never have happened.
2017-2018 Season

See the following list of competition dates posted by the ISU. Patrick is expected to compete at two Grand Prix events next season.

Also, Patrick will represent MK Blades as an ambassador next season:

Congratulations, Patrick! You wear the Phantoms well!

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