Patrick Chan -- aka "filet mignon" -- on menu at fundraiser
Well, you have a chance to watch those “filet mignon” legs in action in Toronto on Tuesday night and help out a very important cause.
Chan is hoping to make an impact beyond the figure skating world – and save some kids from an impact that could have life-altering effects in the process.
He's the new national spokesperson for ThinkFirst, a national non-profit organization dedication to the prevention of brain and spinal injuries. Fresh from his knockout performance at the nationals in Moncton, he's headlining a fundraising gala Tuesday night at the Evergreen Brick Works that also features top Canadian skaters like ice dancers Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje and Cynthia Phaneuf. It goes from 6-9 p.m. and costs $250.
Chan was enlisted to help by the mother of a friend who has struggled with the effects of post-concussion syndrome after a fall while figure skating.
It doesn't seem that Canadians have quite cottoned on to what an extraordinary and rare talent we have in Chan. He's a huge sensation in Japan, where figure skating is at its hottest right now. They flew him over there in late December after the Grand Prix Final to perform in the gala at their national championships.
The lengths Chan and his parents Lewis and Karen have gone to try to maximize his potential as an athlete are impressive.
He lives and trains in Colorado Springs, working with coach Christy Krall and Kathy Johnson, a modern dance teacher who introduced him to a whole new way to move and breathe. He works with renowned choreographer Lori Nichol and also just recently collaborated with another Canadian great in David Wilson on a new show program "Mannish Boy" that he'll undoubtedly do on Tuesday at the ThinkFirst benefit. It was a smash hit in Japan. (see below)
His training, nutrition and recovery program is overseen by Sidney Crosby's trainer Andy O'Brien and Lindsay.
It's a good thing that as a ThinkFirst spokesperson Chan will be paying more attention than ever to protecting what's inside his cranium as his brain is one of his best assets as an athlete.
O'Brien has had to learn the sport of figure skating in order to best help Chan, who it turns out is a very good tutor.
“When he and I sit together, it's very easy to get a clear picture of where he is and what his specific needs are,” said O'Brien. “Not every athlete knows that, but he's very dialled into what he needs to do.”
O'Brien believes the best is yet to come for Chan and explains from a body composition aspect what makes the Toronto skater so special.
“He's very purely mesomorphic,” said O'Brien. “So what he has is relatively dense muscle on a smaller frame. It allows him to get a lot of height in the air and allows him to be very athletic. He's got a lot of fast twitch muscle fibre.
“When you combine the athleticism of that kind of mesomorphic frame with the fast twitch muscle fibre and you combine it with his fine motor skills, it gives him this unique ability to have a lot of power and also do things that are very finite, like some of the step sequences that he has and some of the footwork that he does and the amount of precision he has to have in executing some of his jumps.”
Chan sees all the preparation in a practical way. He's looking for every edge and uses such recovery tools as compression pants.
“The chances of you feeling optimum at a competition are higher,” said Chan of the various efforts that go into making a world champion. “All these things add up.
“But at the end of the day, you have to do what you have to do on the ice. It doesn't mean I'm cheating. It's just as hard. It's how it makes me feel. I'm just trying out these things to see what makes me feel best so when I'm out on the ice I don't have to worry about having a sore leg or sore muscles. It's so I can have filet mignon legs when I skate.”
Sinclair Pitches In: Soccer star Christine Sinclair has mounted a campaign to help her fellow Canadian athletes training for the London Olympics. She's asking Canadians to donate her #12 for 2012 to the CAN Fund, which helps out Canadian athletes with training expenses.
To know how much CAN Fund means to the athletes and the need that remains out there, you only needed to see the frenzy created when CAN Fund was doling out gas cards and other prizes over the holidays.
Everyone who donates gets a tax receipt and to know the name of the athlete their money went to support.
The campaign page can be found here. Eight member of the women's soccer team received money from CAN Fund and there were 17 who applied in January among the 783 total athletes looking for some support in the critical next round of funding.
(Photo of Chan above is from Sunday's gala in Moncton by Mike Cassese/Reuters)