It’s OK to Be Mad at Patrick Chan

Patrick Chan had the chance to make Canadian Winter Olympic history today and become the first man to win a gold medal in figure skating. The stage was set perfectly as Chan’s biggest rival, Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu, fell during his free skate. Normally a flawless skater, Hanyu fell twice in the opening 30 seconds of his skate. Failing to land a quad Salchow and a routine triple flip. I’m going out on a limb and say that Hanyu tripped on a jewel that had fallen off his bedazzling outfit.

d1325a5a0af0a5ec7e70651c1c12d145c8e78f02The door was open for Chan to capture the gold or to paraphrase Joannie Rochette, the gold was on a silver platter, hopefully he doesn’t choke and leave with said platter only. It sounds way cooler in a silky Quebecois accent, trust me.

Then this happened:

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which by now you can set your watch to. Every four years, like Orser, Browning and Stojko before him, a Canadian World Figure Skating Champion failed to close the deal. While a silver medal is an amazing accomplishment, this one stung more because the gold was there for the taking.

When he ‘won’ the silver, Twitter erupted with tweets besmirching Chan, some clever, most not. Many used a word that rhymes with ‘choke’. My feed was equal parts hate and equal parts people hating the haters (that’s a lot of Hateration as Mary J. Blige would say). However, this tweet by Chad Forrest had me nodding my head:

Chad’s right of course. If Luongo lost the gold for Canada, the Twitter queue to drag him through the mud would be longer than an Aritzia warehouse sale. Less beautiful too.

Patrick Chan’s a big boy. He can handle the pot shots. In fact, I’m sure he’s heard them all and it has fueled him to be one of the best in his sport. Like any true pro, Chan will be the first to admit that he didn’t skate his best but regardless, he’s a two-time Olympic silver medalist. That is a huge accomplishment, one that he never has to apologize for. Unlike myself for posting this drivel.

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Shaun White Ain’t So Terrible

There’s something about Shaun White that’s so easy to hate. It’s a toss up between the hair or his top-shelf smugness. I’ll admit the main reason to root against him could be the fact that for over a decade he’s collected more gold than Lil Wayne’s mouth. He’s the Godzilla to the rest of the world’s Tokyo. However, even the most jingoistic patriotic American can agree the media’s fawning over Shaun White is over the top.

Before the Games began he bowed out of slope style because the course didn’t have a friendly vibe and instead wanted to focus on the halfpipe. With that decision it was settled, Shaun White was Darth Vader. So when he failed to medal in last night’s halfpipe a part of me had all the feels of someone who takes great satisfaction in the misfortune of others. I had a grin the Cheshire Cat would be envious of after this missed trick.

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But then Shaun White, like Darth, flipped the script and redeemed himself by showing a tonne of humility and good sportsmanship when he congratulated gold medal winner, Iouri “I-Pod” Podladtchikov.

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That embrace (awkward as hell as I-Pod let it linger) was a great show of Olympic spirit. I’m sure White was absolutely crushed that he didn’t achieve his ‘Three-peat’ but he showed true graciousness in defeat and seemed genuinely happy for Podladtchikov.

Shaun White, you’re not so terrible after all. Your band on the other hand.