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Despite stress of competing, Chan glad to be back

Carroll convinces Murakami he did 'good job'; Osmond falls apart in free
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The uneasy experience of waiting in the kiss and cry for his scores to be announced is not something Patrick Chan misses about competing. -Getty Images

What went through Patrick Chan's mind during his rather troubled short program at 2015 Skate Canada?

"Maybe in the short program I was thinking too much about wanting to show people that I am back," Chan said after his win. "And I'm excited and I have all my jumps back and I'm here. There's that excitement, and I felt like a puppy with all his friends. I think that became a little hard to control."   

The burning question: Why did Chan come back after winning multiple world titles and an Olympic silver medal?

"One of the biggest reasons I came back was the training," he said. "And the regimented schedule day in and day out, of having a purpose and having a goal every day."

During his season off, he did shows. But when he wasn't, he was bored.

"What am I doing, sitting at home, doing nothing, when all of my friends are at the rink, training?" Chan said. "It's the environment of the training center, at competitions, friends, all that. All I could do was think about those great moments and the great times that I had."

The flip side, of course, is that actually being at a competition is a mentally taxing experience.

"This is really stressful. This is uncomfortable for me," Chan said. "But this is my first competition after a year. As I go along, it should get better."

Murakami steals the spotlight

After the men's press conference, who did the Japanese journalists run to interview? The very quotable and media-friendly Daisuke Murakami, who trains in California with Frank Carroll.

"I definitely knew that Yuzuru [Hanyu] and Patrick will bring it at this competition," he said. "To be honest, when I took my starting position, I really didn't know how I was going to skate, only because I've never been in this situation [behind] two Olympic medalists. As soon as I finished my performance and my marks came up, I was a little upset, obviously, that I dropped to third.

"Then my coach, Frank Carroll, made me realize that I was on the same podium as the Olympic medalists, and that's when I decided, 'Yeah, I did a good job.'"


The three men's medalists skated to drastically different pieces of music in Sunday's exhibition gala.

Murakami performed to a song by British pop star Olly Murs.

"I do like to smile a lot, and I really can't do that with both my programs this year -- only because [my coaches] told me that I need to step it up on my component score," Murakami said. "So I decided that I wanted to skate to 'Dance with Me Tonight'…which is a very up-tempo, fun kind of music, and I'll be able to smile."

Hanyu took a different route for his exhibition routine. He's a native of Sendai, Japan, which was hit hard by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Hanyu hasn't forgotten it.

"I have my own experience, and I have seen and observed others," he said. "This is dedicated to all those victims and what they went through and all the suffering and sorrow and how to overcome all this suffering and move forward," he said through translation.

"The song may be a little too deep or heavy for the exhibition, but I believe people of any culture will understand how to overcome the hardship," Hanyu continued. "We do have a common experience and emotion."

Chan skated to "Mess is Mine," music that he says echoes what he dealt with last year personally and in his skating life.

"The title says it all," he said.

Osmond endures nightmare

Two-time Canadian champion Kaetlyn Osmond had a Skate Canada experience that was closer to a nightmare. In her first practice, she injured her landing ankle. She beat a well-worn path to the physiotherapist's door. She seemed to be off to a good start in the short, landing two major elements, but then suffered a strange fall on a spin. Still, she finished fourth.

The free skate was much worse. She landed only one jump, a single axel at the end of her program. Five falls left her in 12th out of 12 skaters, and she placed 11th overall. In the midst of her free, one of the timers on the officials stand fainted and had to be carried off. Halloween, indeed.

Was Osmond still smarting from her practice fall the first day?

"Physically, I've felt better," she said. "It's been a hard week. In training and yesterday in competition, I've been doing lots and lots of treatment. I'm sure in my subconscious it was probably playing on my mind during that whole program, and I just couldn't get back to where I was."

Osmond said her free skate had been going better in training than her short. And she was really shocked to miss her triple flip -- a jump she says she never misses.

She has three weeks to regroup for the NHK Trophy. One of her goals this year is to make it to two Grand Prix events in one season, something she has never done because of injury.

Italians withdraw

Speaking of injury, Italian pairs team Valentina Marchei and Ondřej Hotárek withdrew after the short program because Hotarek was suffering from a concussion. He was struck in the head by Marchei's elbow during a twist at prcatice on the first day. He attempted the short program, but did not feel well, and doctors diagnosed him with a concussion.