Regardless of how people feel about his comments, this is it for Chans career or sponsorship opportunities. Canadian Corporations will never sponsor a "traitor".
The Globe and Mail article currently has 441 responses, 412 of them negative. That is more exposure than any article on figure skating has gotten in the Globe, even more than Joannie Rochettes mom dying - which only got 350ish the first day.
MASSIVE negative exposure.
He should have laid the blame where it belonged, at Skate Canada's doorstep. Their clownish promotional skills have really collapsed public interest in Canadian figure skating over the last 3 years.
Patrick Chan won't recover from this. It has already gone viral. He will be addressing his lack of patriotism for rest of his life. Unfortunately all Skate Canada' athletes will pay the price for it, as interest in skating now hyper collapses.
Expect many in vain, Patriotic statements from Chan, waving the Canadian flag, which nobody will see. The "traitor" frame has already been cast.
I expect a lot of denial and defending comments, but I have worked in marketing for a while. I've seen many times over, how things like this actually end. It takes massive amounts of press and media to counter something like this, and even then, around 50% of people still take your first statement as your true feeling, else why would you have said it. The best Patrick could do, with literally millions of dollars in counter PR, is to split the opinion.
Welcome to the nasty reality of a world ruled by "sound bites".
Last edited by Hirschel; 12-08-2011 at 04:30 PM.
"I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence
Did I miss the part where he kicked a puppy? Because obviously I'm missing something.
I'd say Chan's comments were in part lament and in part short sided. Neither of which makes him a bad person.
I think he's looking at things through a figure skating perspective. The reality of skating in China and being a part of the government funded sports system involves more than being financially funded. Also what of life outside of skating for his parents? His parents migrated from their home country for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with skating and everything to do with things like education, jobs, quality of life etc. For such a filter free guy, I wonder if he's considered the filter he'd have to live through in a Chinese system? There are bigger prices to pay and sacrifices to make than the monetary.
I've no doubt in the next few days we'll get a few nice quotes about his love of Canada and I'll have no doubt about his sincerity. I think he loves his country but took a short sided view in the lament of the state of the sport in Canada and his financial hardships. He's a smart guy, but at 20 still very young. JMO
The Toronto Star article perseverates about how Patrick didn't say he wanted to compete for China. Yes, we know.
He appears to be grossly underestimating the sacrifices he and his family would have to make had he been a Chinese skater. No, they wouldn't have to pay for his training but there are other forms of sacrifice.
I don't know what goes on in Canada in terms of skating popularity but to my rude Amerikan eye it seems that it's more popular than it is in the US.
"Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."
from Speedy Death
Here we go again. A traitor?! Please.
I don't think I have ever seen a skating interview get so misconstrued by the masses than this one; and if there is one, I don't want to see it.
He said all those things for sure, but I have a feeling shite interview skills and bad editing are more to blame, than Chan being a cad.
I think people are thinking he doesn't care about competing anymore and that's not how I perceive it. I think skating is just as much about the journey to get there than the end result and if you do 100% and feel great about the performance, even 4th place feels pretty nice. That's all that matters to him; doing the best job he can and hopefully the audience enjoys it."I skate just to satisfy my own desire and not care about other people's desire for me to do well. I barely have any interest any more in how well I do in competitions. I want to skate well but my main concern is to satisfy myself and make myself enjoy what I do on the ice and hopefully the audience can feel the same thing.
Bad editing for sure!
Addicted to FSU
I kind of understand what he is saying. He looks Chinese, his nationality is Canadian, and he trains in the U.S. The fact that he is split between cultures could affect his fan appeal. Since he doesn't do appearances in the U.S. (that I know of), I couldn't say. If it is true that he doesn't do Canadian tours either, that could affect his recognition factor in Canada as well.
As far as the grass being greener in China, I don't know about that for a singles skater. Chen Lu had to travel quite a bit to train, and she felt that not having any Chinese judges to support her affected her career. The interviews I've read with Bin Yao indicate that skating is not growing in China in spite of his success with the pairs. I see mostly empty seats at the Cup of China.
Skating does appear to be big in Korea and Japan right now, but in the 90's it was big in North America, so things could change at any time - just ask the former Soviet skaters.
Maybe Patrick's problem is that he has had too many choices in his life. He doesn't feel a part of any one culture because he has never committed to one. He is always looking to see where the grass is greener.
It's interesting that some of the comments under the G&M article are people defending Chan and bringing race into it. That if he were caucasian like Browning and Stojko, he'd be a lot more famous in Canada. Something I had never really pondered before.
Anyway, Chan isn't the first and won't be the last amateur athlete in Canada to complain about the Canadian public and media only paying attention to Olympic sports once every 4 years. For sure I've heard Adam van Koeverden complaining about this and the fact that once the Olympics are over, all the Canadian public and media cares about is NHL hockey.
ETA: I also think it's quite natural for Chan as he gets older to start having more positive feeling about his ethnicity. All one has to do is be in Toronto during any World Cup of Soccer tourny to see how proud Cdn immigrants are of their homeland/ancestry.
Patrick was named as Sportsnet's Athlete of the Year this morning. Nice to see him being recognized. I hope this makes him feel better about things, he sounds thrilled with the announcement.
1. The sport and how it is scored is often a joke. A major turn off.
2. You know he is going to win every event anyway, and he doesnt have to skate well to do it, so who cares.
3. The field must suck (which it doesnt but judges allow that impression) if someone who keeps making so many mistakes in many of his events can keep winning.
So why would anyone care. That even few Canadians are interested is understandable and wont change until the judges start scoring him reasonably.