Patrick Chan Retires | “The Bubble Gum Caper”

Skating Legend Patrick Chan Retires from Competitive Competition

Olympic Champion Patrick Chan, 27, Toronto, Ont., announced his retirement from competitive skating today. Chan is the most decorated male figure skater in Canadian history with three Olympic medals, three world championship crowns and 10 Canadian titles.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to skate for Canada”, said Patrick Chan. “It has given me memorable experiences and has taught me lessons I will carry throughout life. I have fulfilled my dreams and aspirations in competitive skating and it is now time to move on to new challenges and opportunities. I hope to have inspired many young skaters that with hard work, perseverance and dedication anything is possible.”

Chan won his first Canadian title in 2008 and would go on to win nine more, establishing a Canadian men’s record with 10 in total. Over the course of his decorated career Chan would compete at three Olympic Games, winning silver in Sochi in both his individual and team event, capping off his career with a gold medal in the team event at the 2018 Games in PyeongChang.

“It has truly been an honour to have Patrick on our team and he will be greatly missed by the entire skating community. His beautiful lyrical skating matched with his outgoing and positive personality has made him a champion on and off the ice,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO, Skate Canada. “Patrick has left a tremendous mark on Canadian skating and we thank him for inspiring Canadians to embrace the joy of skating. Skate Canada would like to congratulate Patrick on a fabulous career and we wish him the best of luck with his future endeavors.”


During his senior career, Chan won five medals at the ISU World Championships, winning the title three times (2011, 2012, 2013). He picked up 15 medals on the ISU Grand Prix circuit and would go on to earn four medals at the ISU Grand Prix Final, winning gold twice (2011, 2012). He would also claim top spot at the ISU Four Continents Championships three times (2009, 2012, 2016).

“Patrick’s impact on the sport has been instrumental to the continued success of figure skating in Canada. His strong technical ability combined with his effortless skating made him one of the best the world has ever seen and has brought endless memories to skating fans worldwide,” said Mike Slipchuk, High Performance Director, Skate Canada. “Patrick’s achievements are a testament to his hard work, dedication, and humble personality, which enabled him to reach the highest accomplishments at the world and Olympic level. We wish Patrick every success in his new chapter and thank him for having us along for this incredible ride.”

For his work on the ice, Chan was awarded the prestigious Lou Marsh Award as Canada’s top athlete in 2011, as well as Sportsnet’s Canadian Athlete of the Year, QMI Agency Canadian Male Athlete of the Year and the Canadian Press’s Lionel Conacher Award for Canadian male athlete of the year.

Chan is currently residing in Vancouver, B.C., where he plans to stay involved in the skating community through seminars and performing in skating shows across Canada.


“The Bubble Gum Caper” written by Nancy Sorensen

Nancy Sorensen

St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, NB was the site of 1979 New Brunswick Sectionals and my initiation as a Tech Rep. My on-site visit introduced me to the ice manager/Zamboni driver.  How he loved that machine! However, we also needed a barrel.  Remember, this was still in the days of school figures when there would be two to three judging panels on the ice at the same time working the figures portion of the competition. There was a barrel, delegated to a dark corner of the arena, obviously put to rest since the Zamboni’s arrival. Did it still work? Staff to pull it? Could it be cleaned up and made ready for use? Yes, to all questions.

The morning of the competition, three panels were preparing to get on the ice. Time to fill the barrel.

It leaked! Hot water squirted out of numerous holes in its body but a hurried conference between the ice manager and a few rink hands produced a plan.  While the skating continued, the young chaps chewed bubble gum like crazy, procured from the concession stand.  Despite my apprehension, watching this scenario was nothing short of hilarious! The chewed gum, sufficiently softened, was strategically placed over the holes.

Believe it or not, the show was on!  Out came the barrel peppered with pink blobs of gum.  There were interested looks from the spectators but those on the ice were too absorbed in skating and judging to really notice.

The barrel, warmed by its hot water contents, kept the gum soft and adhesive.  It was the perfect solution! The ice manager and rink boys and I breathed sighs of relief.  Once the figures were over, the ice manager vowed to never unearth the barrel again.  Zamboni or nothing!

Whoever coined the saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention”, was absolutely right.