8 December 2011

Patrick Chan feels more Chinese


Chan feels more and more drawn towards his Chinese heritage.
"If you look at all the sports in China, the government is extremely involved and they are extremely proud of their athletes. People understand better what we do as skaters," Chan told Reuters in a telephone interview ahead of this week's Grand Prix Final in Quebec.

"Sometimes I feel we are not appreciated for how much work we put in. If my parents hadn't emigrated from China and say I had skated for China, things would have been very different. My parents wouldn't have had to make as much sacrifices as they have and there would be a lot more respect for what we do as figure skaters.

"I'm extremely well recognized in Korea just because of what I do on the ice and there is a lack of that in Canada because hockey is our sport and it will be for eternity. Figure skating has lost the draw and the attention (it used to have before)."

Whereas Elvis Stojko and Kurt Browning were treated as rockstars and showered with plaudits during the 1980s and 90s -- when Canadian men glided to eight world titles in 11 years -- the skating landscape for Chan in 2011 is very different.

"Several years ago I felt more Canadian but I'm slowly feeling more Chinese and feel I should be more proud of being Chinese and appreciate where I've come from. (This is because) of the support I get from the Chinese community in Canada," Chan said as he took a break from his intensive training schedule.

"I feel a lot less pressure now that I'm world champion. I feel like I don't have any expectations and I can really just skate for myself. I've got absolutely nothing to prove to anyone," said Chan, who holds the records for the highest ever scores in both the short (93.02 points) and free (187.96) programs.

"I skate just to satisfy my own desire and not care about other people's desire for me to do well. I barely have any interest any more in how well I do in competitions. I want to skate well but my main concern is to satisfy myself and make myself enjoy what I do on the ice and hopefully the audience can feel the same thing.

"If they feel they have understood the program and have been really been touched, then I feel much more accomplished than if I won a medal," added the skater who is favorite to complete a hat-trick of Grand Prix wins this season in Quebec.

Read all the article at Reuters Canada.

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