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Chan uncertain if he will keep skating

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 15, 2014 at 6:47 am •  Published: February 15, 2014
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SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Patrick Chan didn't get what he came to Sochi for, that elusive Olympic men's figure skating gold medal that Canada never has taken home.

Now he's at a crossroads in his career at the age of 23.

Chan is uncertain if he will continue competitive skating. Next up on the schedule after he came in second to Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu at the Sochi Games would be the world championships, which Chan has won the last three years. He was noncommital Saturday about going next month to Saitama, Japan.

"I have won three world championships and I don't know if I could go to another one now," Chan said after a relatively sleepless night. "I'm pretty exhausted. It definitely does drain you and you lose perspective. I need to take time to see what I want to do."

What he did in Sochi is unprecedented, the only men's singles skater to win two medals; he also got silver in the new team event. But it didn't offer him much solace — Chan knew the gold on Friday night was within grasp in the free skate, and he let it slip away.

"It may seem ridiculous that we are so tough on ourselves for (winning) a silver medal," he said. "You train every day for that perfect skate. I couldn't sleep much last night thinking about those split seconds that you could've done something else.

"You imagine the glory of winning the gold and changing history, and also fearing not achieving that. But I woke up this morning alive and well."

The grind was exhausting, and Chan questioned why organizers scheduled the short and long programs on consecutive nights. It clearly damaged the event because the men's free skate was sloppier than any in recent history, and it came less than a full day after a lengthy short program that stretched nearly until midnight.

"It's hard," he said Saturday. "You can't really train for moments like yesterday. I do my short program and long program every day, but a short program in front of an Olympic audience and media is another level. That's demanding a lot from such a precise sport and it's pretty close to impossible.

"Maybe a day between would have been nice."

Chan will spend the rest of his days in Sochi watching other sports, and he has no plans to ponder another Olympic venture at this time. When asked if the 2018 Games in South Korea are an option, he instead said he wanted to enjoy having these silver medals hanging around his neck.

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