Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Patrick Chan: Focusing on Quads Has Turned Skating in "Slam Dunk" Contest

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Patrick Chan: Focusing on Quads Has Turned Skating in "Slam Dunk" Contest

Article excerpt

Chan not pleased with direction of sport

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HALIFAX - Patrick Chan has always been known as the total package -- big jumps coupled with intricate spins and a skating ability that is considered the best in the world.

So after his 18-month hiatus, Canada's three-time world champion was dismayed to return to find his sport dominated by quadruple jumps.

And the morning after he won his eighth gold medal at the Canadian figure skating champion, Chan waded back into the quad controversy.

"It's getting a little ridiculous. It's like the slam dunk contest, that's what it's becoming," Chan said. "I will be dead honest, I think with my experience and credibility at this point, I can say already with the men doing three quads, the quality of skating is diminished."

The 25-year-old from Toronto landed two huge quads in his long program Saturday night. He has one in his short program.

His Japanese rival Yuzuru Hanyu has two in his short program and three in his long, and has talked recently about adding another quad. Shoma Uno, a 17-year-old from Japan, who beat Chan to win bronze at the Grand Prix Final, also has five quads over his two programs.

Jin Boyang, an 18-year-old from China, attempted two quads in his short program and four in his long at the Grand Prix Final. He finished fifth.

The quad controversy goes back to the days of Canada's Elvis Stojko, and has reared its head periodically, including at the Vancouver Olympics where American Evan Lysacek won gold without a quad. Stojko responded by writing a scathing column for Yahoo Sports under the headline "The Night They Killed Figure Skating."

"People are getting excited because of the jumps, not because, wow, looking at the entire program and saying 'That's beautiful, that's a piece of art right there,'" Chan said. "Now it's 'Wow, did you see that quad (Salchow)? Smoked it.' Ok, but then what did he do after?"

The quad, Chan explained, requires so much set up, with no room for intricate footwork.

"So what's happening, and what you're going to end up seeing is just people moseying down the ice and setting up for a quad. . .," he said. "So four times, that's already two-and-a-half minutes of the long program taken up. …

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