Patrick Chan announces his future in figure skating

Patrick Chan isn’t ready to walk away from competitive figure skating just yet.

The two-time Olympic silver medallist and three-time world champion has announced that after taking this season away from the ISU circuit, he will be back in 2015-16.

“My goal is to return to a full competitive schedule after this year,” Chan said in a Skate Canada release. “I am proud of my accomplishments in Sochi and my world championship titles, but I do feel that there is still more that I can achieve. I will return to competition having learned new ways of training and preparing from this year off.”

Chan stops to snap a 'selfie'  with House Speaker Andrew Scheer during a trip to Parliament Hill this spring.

Chan stops to snap a ‘selfie’ with House Speaker Andrew Scheer during a trip to Parliament Hill this spring.

Chan originally took time off after the Sochi Winter Games, which included missing the 2014 World Championships in March. But with choreographer David Wilson, Chan has been working on a new free program, which will be showcased later this week at the Japan Open, an invitational event to be held in Saitama. Chan will form Team North America along with another Canadian world champion and Olympic medallist, Jeffrey Buttle, and two American Olympians, Ashley Wagner and Mirai Nagasu.

Of his Chopin program Chan said “This program uses very contemporary movements in my skating. I’m taking the time to enjoy building out the program and working on the flow of the artistry. And I’m experimenting with different things in my training cycle, without feeling that same intensity to do full run-throughs of each program every day that I felt building to the Olympics.”

“I’m learning how to accomplish the same results from a more relaxed, less intense training regimen, that I feel will help me going forward next year.” – Patrick Chan

Since February, Chan has kept busy performing in various exhibitions and shows, including Stars on Ice. Those commitments will continue throughout the fall and winter. He had said during the summer that he would wait until autumn to decide whether he would compete at nationals and then potentially the world championships.

With this news, Chan’s absence from the Canadian championships in January means there will be a new titleholder for the first time since 2007.

The post-Olympic season is always a curious one in figure skating as athletes have to decide whether or not to forge on for another four years. Last week, three-time Olympic medallist ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir announced that they would not be competing this season, but had not ruled out a return in the future.

The international figure skating season is already underway, but the elite ISU Grand Prix series kicks off with Skate America, October 24-26, followed by Skate Canada International, October 31-November 2 in Kelowna, BC.