GANGNEUNG, South Korea, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Canada’s Patrick Chan walked away from his final Olympic Games on Saturday with a gold medal in the team event and ninth place in the men’s competition. Now, he just wants to spend time at home.
The three-time Olympian, who had announced he would retire after Pyeongchang, has spent his life at the rink and recently moved back to Canada from the United States to train at home for the last months of his competitive career.
“I haven’t really settled myself, I’ve never really started my life as a mid-20s adult in Canada,” Chan, 27, told Reuters after his free skate. “I look forward to just starting with that and then see where that takes me.”
Weeks before Pyeongchang, Chan made a bold coaching change and relocated to Canada, something he says helped him rekindle his passion for the sport.
Chan finished fourth at the Skate Canada grand prix event last year, realising that only a change could put him back on track for the final part of his competitive career.
After withdrawing from a grand prix event in Japan, Chan moved to Vancouver and hired coach Ravi Walia, ending his partnership with Marina Zoueva with whom he trained in the United States.
Chan’s return to his home country had helped him fall in love with figure skating again, Walia earlier told Reuters during the Games.
On Saturday, Chan landed two triple Axels, a jump that he did not land in the short programme and that has haunted him throughout his career.
Chan said his performance on Saturday was not a “dream skate” but that he was overall pleased with how he improved as the Olympics went on.
“I just kept chugging along at goals and achieved the goals I had set myself,” Chan said.
“I landed both Axels in the programme, which is a big step forward. I can have that off my back and I get to walk away with the gold medal from the team event.”
Chan, who won two silver medals at the 2014 Sochi Games, earlier said he was relieved to have finally won gold and was happy to have done it with his team mates.
Chan was the favourite in Sochi but botched his triple Axel, letting Yuzuru Hanyu, who won gold on Saturday, take his first Olympic title.
Chan said he planned to take part in figure skating shows. But for the time being, he is eager to explore the other aspects of his life.
“I had set my goal up to this point and I didn’t really think beyond that because it would just cause me more stress,” he said.
“Skating-wise, I’m going to set that aside for now, and catch everything else up in my life.” (Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber, additional reporting by Soyoung Kim; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)