When we caught up with Canadian silver medal-winning Sochi 2014 Olympic figure skater Patrick Chan on the red carpet of Thursday’s Right to Play Ball, we thought he was pretty square at first and almost picture perfect – the type that makes you immediately feel more flawed than you already are. In addition to his athletic discipline, Chan very much lives what we call a notable 360-degree lifestyle, one rich with professional success, charitable involvement, physical fitness and a healthy social life. But when it comes down to it, we liked him more by the end of our chat, when he revealed that he is still only 23 years old and not as squeaky clean as he seems… still, he’s pretty close.
Here’s what we learned…
He plays other sports
In addition to dominating the world figure skating scene, Chan is good at a bunch of other sports. “In the summers, I love surfing, golf and tennis,” he says. “Surfing is a little difficult in Canada but you can still do it, or obviously in other parts of the world. In the wintertime, I love skiing – it’s a passion of mine. Of course, Vancouver is great, weather permitting. The weather’s a little more up and down in Vancouver. I love Colorado, though. I trained there for two years and took advantage of the amazing snow conditions. The weather is just awesome: blue skies, everyone skiing in t-shirts… even when it’s warm, the snow is still such good quality. That’s my way to let loose – to stay active, but to challenge my body in other sports and other activities.”
He’s got brains
There is more to Chan than his athleticism and smile. “I got into University of Toronto a while ago and I deferred for a year, but now a year has passed so it’s almost time to decide on my courses and whether I’ll take one course or two courses. The next year will be a low period in terms of training, shows and performances, so I figure if I don’t have any shows to attend, I should go to class and take advantage of that time.” Wise words.
He gives back
Chan understands the importance of using his name for a good cause. “I have been a part of Right to Play for so long, since pre Vancouver 2010,” he tells us. “It’s such a great brand and name to be associated with. I haven’t had time to participate in all the Right to Play events, so this is the first time I’ve actually had the chance to come out and check out an event. Maybe with taking this year off, I’ll have more time to focus on causes like this. In addition to Right to Play, I also support Ronald McDonald House. They’re just great charities that I like to be a part of.”
He’s a far cry from a train wreck
When asked about his favourite way to let loose, Chan gave an innocent and mature reply: “A great way to let loose is to have a nice long dinner with friends who I haven’t seen forever because of training and then to go dancing later that night. Another way is to play sports.” Definitely a notable alternative to beer pong, frat parties and bong hits. We asked if we would see him let loose that evening, and he gave a shy, almost embarrassed smile that lead us to believe that he knew much better than to be the last to leave the party. Unlike fellow Olympian Michael Phelps, we’re pretty sure there won’t be any wild party shots of Chan circulating online anytime soon.
But he’s not that innocent..
At the end of the day, Chan may be a wholesome role model to young Canadian athletes… but we get the impression that he isn’t that innocent and is up to similar antics as anyone his age. We asked him what the general public would be most surprised about when it came to Sochi, a knowing, devilish grin (okay, that may be a slight exaggeration) came over his face; “I don’t know, I can’t tell you some of these things! What happens at the Olympics stays at the Olympics,” he says, with that same grin. We made him give us something. “Let’s just say that I sacrificed watching a figure skating event that I should have been at to watch the women curlers win gold. But it was great to see another Canadian team win gold… and we may have been caught sneaking beer into that venue, but that is about all I can tell you.” We asked if he perhaps had a thing for one of the women curlers… “No, but my friend did.” Fair enough, Patrick, fair enough.
#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)
All images from Patrick Chan Website