SOCHI RUSSIA – Patrick Chan believes he is still the man to beat for the Sochi Olympic gold medal despite losing the Grand Prix Final to Yuzuru Hanyu.
Hanyu won the final for the first time in Fukuoka in December with a career-high 293.25 points, with three-time world champion Chan settling for second on 280.08.
The 19-year-old Hanyu went on to defend his national title later in the month, clearing the century mark in the short program with a jaw-dropping 103.10.
Yet while momentum may be on Hanyu’s side, Chan’s self-confidence remains unwavering ahead of his second Winter Games. The figure skating competition begins Thursday with the new team event in Sochi.
“I deserve to be here and I deserve to be a favorite,” the Canadian said over the weekend, when he first trained at the Iceberg Skating Palace. “It’s not like out of the blue I became the favorite. It’s something I have been building for over a couple of years.”
“Even though it’s an Olympic Games I still treat it the same in practice like all of the others, and even in competition I treat it like I am a three-time world champion.”