SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Patrick Chan feels good about arriving early at the Sochi Olympics, especially after solving his bus route issues to the figure skating arena.
The men's gold-medal favorite was late for his first practice at the Iceberg Skating Palace on Saturday, blaming jet lag and his own bad planning.
But as Chan was one of few athletes in town, he was alone on the rink when a subsequent training slot was empty.
"Having the ice to myself was a huge advantage," the three-time world champion said Tuesday.
"In my whole career I haven't had a practice on my own. It comes down to the Olympics. Who would have imagined?" a relaxed and smiling Chan said at a Canadian team news conference.
Getting set into a routine between the athletes' village and the nearby competition venue was a key reason for Chan landing in Russia last week.
"Coming those two, three days earlier than everyone else was a huge advantage," he said. "I can now calmly go through my routine."
Chan was less composed Saturday afternoon at the village gym when told his scheduled practice started in five minutes.
"I didn't plan my time and the bus was much longer than I expected," he said. "The bus runs slow and I didn't know that. You have to wait for them, and they're not there right away."
Unlike early bird Chan, Evgeni Plushenko appears to be preparing away from what is sure to be an intense spotlight when the home star competes in the team event that opens the competition Thursday.