Chan calls Jackson an old family friend. One of Jackson’s mentors, particularly when he was a pro skater, was Toronto coach Osborne Colson, who was Chan’s formative coach. “I have this young Asian boy that I think is special,” Colson told Jackson before Chan had even hit his teenaged years.
But before Chan ever met Colson, he had met Jackson. Chan, born in Ottawa, signed up for some learn-to-skate classes (called CanSkate) at the Minto Skating Club, where Jackson was director of skating for many years. Jackson taught Chan how to do cross-overs when he was only five years old.
“I have a lot of good memories of Don,” Chan said. “He’s always a joy to be with, because every time I see him, he always has a smile on his face. So does his wife [Barb], and they’re really good people who really love skating. I really wanted to do this.”
Chan flew into Toronto on Friday and returned to his training base in Colorado Springs on Sunday.
“He’s a class act,” Jackson said, of Chan, who decided to forfeit his appearance fee, donate half of it to a club scholarship in Colson’s name and the rest to a Japanese disaster relief fund through the Canadian Red Cross. On Saturday night in Oshawa, Chan used the event as a training exercise, performing his short program to Take Five.