After setting three world records at the world figure skating championships last April, Patrick Chan has found himself in the company of a fish with 63 eyes, a Frenchman who spat a periwinkle 10.4 metres, and a Brit who flipped and caught 70 beer mats in a minute.
He’s now listed in the Guinness World Records. Three times.
Take that, you dromedary with four humps.
At the world championships in Moscow, Chan set a world record for the highest score in a short program (93.02, eclipsing a record set by 2006 Olympic champion, Evgeny Plushenko of 91.30); highest score in the long program (187.96 points, over Daisuke Takahashi of Japan with 175.84) and also the highest score for a total program: 280.98 points. The previous mark was set by Takahashi in 2008: 264.41.
Chan is only 20 years old. And he’s going for more. Stay tuned.
Chan obliterated the old total mark by a yawning 16.57 points – even though there were fewer opportunities for him to chalk up points than in previous years in both the short and long programs.
Before last season, male skaters were required to do two footwork sequences in the short program and two in the long. Last season, when Chan set his mark, the requirements changed, with only one step sequence allowed in the short program and a full step sequence and a second with limited point possibilities in the long.
With these rule changes for last season, Chan lost the possibility of scooping up another 6 to 8 points overall. Still, he smashed the records.
William Thompson, chief executive officer for Skate Canada, said Chan’s shattering of those marks was akin to Usain Bolt’s memorable record-breaking run in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the 100-metre sprint.
“When you see how much he broke the record by, it’s going to be difficult to break,” Thompson said.
In Moscow, Chan devastated the competition with his new tricks: a very strong quadruple toe loop – triple toe loop combination. He landed a total of three quads at the world championships last March.
However, this year, he promises to return with more. During the summer, he’s been working on a new quad, a Salchow, even though his triple Salchow was never his strongest jump.
The new quad Salchow – a quad that isn’t as common as the quad toe loop – won’t be in his repertoire by his first competition of the year, Skate Canada in Mississauga in late October. But he said he may include it by the Canadian championships in Moncton, N.B., in January.
With coach Christy Krall cleverly tweaking his technique over the summer, Chan said he found it an easier process to do the quad Salchow than the quad toe loop. (And he’s improved his triple Salchow, too, although that may become a moot point.) And it’s a smoother jump, offering less shock to the body, he said. Chan said he was shocked when the ease of it.
He still hasn’t’ nailed down the consistency of it, he said Wednesday. If he tries five, he might land two or three. And the real proof is trying them in the heat of competition.
Chan is in Toronto briefly to attend a Skate Canada training camp this week in Mississauga. But he’s itching to return to Colorado Springs to train. He lost some training time earlier this season because he did several shows in July in Asia: three in Beijing, two in Shanghai, one in Taiwan and two staged by Olympic champion Yu-Na Kim in South Korea.
Skate Canada is only seven weeks away. Chan will present a new long program that he says is a “different program artistically and emotionally” than his previous Phantom of the Opera routine. “I’m always pushing the bar,” he said.