Judges Are Doing Chan A Favour With Their ‘Tough Love’
|PAUL CHIASSON/THE CANADIAN PRESS|
|Lots of hype around Chan, still only 18.|
There were many who thought the judges jobbed Patrick Chan last night in giving him third-place marks for the men’s short program, but they’re probably doing the Toronto teenager a big favour.
In many ways, the worst thing to happen to Chan could be winning the world title heading into an Olympics on home ice.
There’s already an incredible hype around the 18-year-old, probably way too much for a skater who has yet to grace the podium at a world championships.
Chan has been built up as the favourite to win the world title tonight in Los Angeles, yet he was ninth in his debut at the worlds last year and fifth at the Grand Prix Final this year. He hasn’t yet built up the mettle to show he’s a consistent performer when the pressure is at its greatest, so having that extra pressure of being the defending world champion next year would be putting a lot on his slender shoulders.
Orser was put in a position where anything less than gold was to be seen as a failure and, despite a great performance in the Battle of the Brians, his silver medal was unfairly portrayed as a failure in many quarters.
Getting on the podium tonight in L.A. would be huge for Chan. He wants the top rung badly, but not getting there might be more of a blessing than he realizes.
For those who want to watch what’s shaping up as a great showdown between Frenchman Brian Joubert, American Evan Lysacek and Chan, it can be seen on live streaming on cbc.ca as well as on CBC Bold. PJ Kwong does a great job on the commentary.