Figure Skating “Feud” Is Quick to Fizzle Out
The hastily hyped figure skating “feud” between Canada’s Patrick Chan and Brian Joubert fizzled out pretty quickly when the Frenchman refused to bite the hook yesterday at the world championships in Los Angeles.
|PAUL CHIASSON/THE CANADIAN PRESS|
|Spinning Patrick Chan's comments into a feud fizzled out quick.|
Perhaps it’s a reflection more than anything on the hard times figure skating continues to experience that there was so much excitement in the media on Monday night when Chan said in an interview after practice that he was fed up with Joubert putting down competitors who aren’t doing the quad jump – a group that includes the 18-year-old Chan.
Chan’s words were strong, but you have to understand what he’s really like to know they would have been said in frustration but not malice.
Chan is an incredibly nice kid – Joubert said as much in declining to fuel the fires yesterday – and he’s also remarkably guileless. He had no idea the feeding frenzy he would have created with his remarks about Joubert on Monday.
But there’s not a whole lot of excitement for figure skating scribblers to latch onto off the ice these days, certainly nothing like the heyday of Nancy-Tonya that most still yearn for, as sick as that might sound.
As the Star’s Rosie Dimanno put it in her column today, “Chan and Joubert have been cast as world squabblers this week, doing the hissy as massaged by media.”
After this initial outburst, Chan is likely to provide a lot less to massage in the future. He’s much more of an old-school competitor who, as he has said in the past, prefers to wage the battle on the ice.
“When we’re on the ice then, yeah, you can say we’re like enemies. But right away when we got off the ice, then we’re just like friends basically. That’s what I really like to think about is that we’re friends,” said Chan in an interview with the Star in February.
“When I leave, I always miss all the guys. I’m not like ‘Yes, I beat them and I won’t see them for another couple of weeks.’ It’s more like ‘Sure I beat them but they’ll be back next time and I’ll still have them as good friends.’”
The men's competition starts with the short program today.