2011 Syl Apps Award - Patrick Chan

All he'd really wanted to do – back there at age 5 – was learn to skate so that he could play hockey. The skating, itself turned out to be so cool, though, that ... well, stuff happens.

And today, Patrick Chan, men's world champion two times running, Canadian champ five times and counting and Lou Marsh Trophy winner as Canada's athlete of the year, gets to hang with hockey guys at Hall of Fame to-dos like this. And sometimes collect a Syl Apps Award while he's there.

"It's cool to be put next to Wayne Gretzky and Wendel Clark who are legends in Canada," Chan noted earlier this year. "I'm not there yet but maybe one day ...."

Of course, the guy's getting fairly well on in years. You know, having to confront the big 22 this coming New Year's Eve and all. Which would mean, of course, that he'd been a 17-year-old for mere weeks when he won his first Canadian senior title in January of '08. And just-turned 19 when he placed what some felt was a "disappointing" fifth at the Vancouver Games.

But the guy has hardly lost since – and not at all in 2011-2012 when, besides the Worlds and the Canadians, he also struck gold at Skate Canada, Trophee Bompard, Four Continents and the Grand Prix final.

Which is why he's confident things will be much different for him when, less than 17 months from now, he turns up in Sochi, Russia. "In Vancouver, I got the shock of being in the Olympics out of the way," Chan was telling reporters this spring. "The first Olympics is about being able to manage the big media attention. It’s a very unique thing that we don’t experience at all as amateur athletes until we get to the Olympics. (But) what I think was a disadvantage to me was thinking the Olympics were something much bigger than it actually is. "

I learned a lot from the minute I stepped into the opening ceremony. I started a new chapter in my life and my career as a skater and it will make things a lot easier when I get to Sochi. "This time I feel different ... I’ll be expecting better results. I’m much more physically sound and mentally sound, because I don’t have any doubts in my mind."

So maybe, right back here a couple of years from now, we'll have an Apps for that.

Last modified on Thursday, 13 November 2014 16:28