“Daisuke was my favorite competitor during my active career. As a fellow athlete, he had a significant impact on me.” interview with Patrick Chan for Japanese media

Posted on 2023-10-03 • 1 comment


Translation of the interview with Patrick Chan for Japanese media.

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source: number.bunshun.jp dd. 29th September 2023 by Akiko Tamura

Patrick Chan expressed about his former rival Daisuke Takahashi, who had suffered a serious knee injury.

“Daisuke was my favorite competitor during my active career. While we competed fiercely on the ice, he was always friendly and warm off the ice. As a fellow athlete, he had a significant impact on me. When I was training with coach Christy Krall, I often watched his videos to use as references for my jumps,” he confessed.

“He was one of the most well-rounded skaters in terms of technique and artistry, and he skated wonderful programs like ‘Swan Lake.’ I also loved him as a performer.”

Patrick Chan wasn’t particularly surprised when Daisuke Takahashi switched to ice dance.

“Among us single skaters, he was the most artistic and skilled in expression, so I wasn’t surprised that he was drawn to ice dance,” Patrick explained.

Marina Zueva, who coached Muramoto & Takahashi, also coached Patrick at one point.

“In fact, when I was on the ice at Marina’s rink, surrounded by many ice dancers, I thought to myself that I might want to try it too. As you get older, you become more interested in the idea of skating with a partner,” he said.

Patrick is still only 32 years old, just a year younger than when Takahashi made the switch to ice dance. When asked about the possibility of trying it himself, Evan Bates, who was getting a massage in the corner of the lounge, chimed in with an encouraging, “Yes!”

However, Patrick chuckled and said, “I would be the worst partner, and I think Liz (Elizabeth Putnam, Patrick’s wife) would agree. I have a stubborn personality, and I grew up as an only child…” thus ruling out the possibility of switching to ice dance.

Having made his comeback to ice shows, does Patrick have plans to increase his involvement in skating once again?

“Yes, I believe so,” he nodded firmly. “In the past few years, with new responsibilities and becoming a father for the first time, I’ve had many moments of confusion. However, returning to skating has helped me regain confidence that there’s still a lot I can do. When I used to compete, I didn’t appreciate my talent and abilities as much. But now, whether I’m feeling good or not in the morning, I always skate before heading to the office. Doing so clears my mind, and I feel refreshed and perform better at work.”

There are other reasons why he’s enthusiastic about his involvement in the show. This current tour is also the final tour for Kurt Browning, who has led this show for 29 years. Kurt, who successfully landed the first quadruple jump in the world in 1988, is considered one of the most artistic skaters in figure skating history. While Canada has produced many champions, Kurt’s popularity is unparalleled. After his retirement, the question remains, who will fill his shoes?

“To be honest, I didn’t think Kurt’s retirement would have such a significant emotional impact. He has always been there, sharing his experiences with everyone. I had somewhat taken for granted how special it is to have him in the same show. It’s not an easy task to take his place. But Elvis and I are planning to discuss how we will carry on this tour in the future,” he said.

For Patrick, who has participated in three Olympics, how does he currently feel about competitive figure skating?

“Figure skating has changed quite a bit since Daisuke and I were competing. Nowadays, you need to have up to five quadruple jumps. But in exchange, something has to be sacrificed. I still remember watching programs from the past by skaters like Kurt and Elvis on TV when I was a child, such as ‘Dragon’ and ‘Casablanca.’ But with the current scoring system, it’s no longer possible to tell these kinds of stories on the ice.”

In this venue, Sandra Bezic, who choreographed ‘Casablanca,’ was also present. She is a legendary figure in figure skating, having established herself as a choreographer.

“There are fewer choreographers like Sandra or Lori (Nichol) who take their time to create programs with depth, and there are fewer skaters who seek that quality. But I’m not criticizing anyone. Skaters are doing what is demanded of them to win. I believe it’s a matter of the direction the ISU is taking.”

Finally, I asked for his opinion on the current situation where Russian athletes are not participating in international competitions.

“We all grew up watching Russian skaters and have immense respect for their skating. The influence that Russia’s top coaches and elite athletes have had on this sport is immeasurable. But, unfortunately, rules are rules. The talent in sports gets overshadowed by bigger issues like doping and war. Russia, as a nation, hasn’t yet acknowledged systematic doping. And war is affecting the world. I have respect for Russia as a country and for their style, but they need to start participating in the modern world and abide by international rules.”

He continued his thoughts:

“It’s unfortunate that the world has become divided. I grew up watching skaters like Ilia Kulik, Alexander Abt, Alexei Yagudin, and Evgeni Plushenko, and they had a significant influence on my skating. They are irreplaceable. However, I don’t think that a champion in a competition without Russia isn’t legitimate. This sport is not about competing against others but against oneself. It’s lonely without them. But I think it will take a long time for them to return.”


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One response to ““Daisuke was my favorite competitor during my active career. As a fellow athlete, he had a significant impact on me.” interview with Patrick Chan for Japanese media”

  1. christine says:

    Patrick was a great skater but he certainly isn’t very knowledgeable about world politics. When the US is making wars around the world, it doesn’t bother him it seems, although it also always affecting the world. Chan is biased. The world is divided not because of the Russians, but because the US still lives in cold war mindset and they’ve decided the Russians are enemy No.1. They provoked Russia into the war against Ukraine, too.
    Also I don’t miss the 6.0 system at all, where there were so many empty programs, and skaters were going into the jumps after dozens of crossovers and preparation. To me the old system was boring.

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