It wasn’t the storybook ending to his comeback season.
“I think tomorrow I’ll look back at the entire year, and there’s really nothing to be upset about,” Chan said. “As much as we all want to win and be on the podium, yeah it stinks to be in fifth after third in the short [program], but it’s good to be here, and it’s good to be feeling that pressure.”
Japan’s Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, the leader after the short program, fell on one quad jump, and touched a hand down on another in an uncharacteristically shaky performance, to finish second with 295.17. Jin Boyang of China was third with 270.99 points.
Sitting third after the short program, a medal was Chan’s for the taking. But, skating to music by Chopin, dressed in a simple charcoal shirt and black pants, he tripled his first planned quad jump. He landed his second quad, but then hit the boards on the tripe toe-loop he’d tacked on the end. He then popped a triple Axel, scoring 266.75.
“I felt like there were a lot of ruts and I couldn’t feel confident when I stepped forward to set my edge, that my edge would go straight. It would skip and jump over bumps or go right or left,” Chan said.
“Skating every day of your life, there’s just a way you see the ice, and it looks a certain way. I was very distracted by the look of it. It has this frost, it doesn’t have that shine to it. It sounds really stupid, but I know my ice really well and I just knew from the beginning, but I put it behind me.”
“Seeing third-tier rows of people, that’s just a highlight of my life,” Chan said. “One thing I remember today is stepping on that six-minute warm-up and looking up and thinking ‘It’s so great to be alive,’ because you feel the energy.”
“Absolutely,” he said. “People ask me how it feels to compete now, and it feels like my first time coming to a senior event. I feel like I have a renewed idea of why I’m doing this. For me, it’s been so refreshing. No regrets at all.”
“And I did it,” he said.
“He had a little bit of a look of panic on his face on practice today, and he kind of got really white,” Orser said.