What a day (or two) Patrick Chan has had.
He missed the first men’s practice on Thursday at Skate Canada International. And he arrived just in time to take the ice for the second men’s practice. Without a suitcase. Which means, at the moment, he has no clothes, just practice clothes. And thankfully, his skates.
Chan was to arrive in Regina on Wednesday. His itinerary? He was to fly from Detroit to Toronto and then on to Regina.
He couldn’t get off the ground in Detroit. His flight from Detroit was delayed by four or five hours and he missed is connection in Toronto. By then, it was late in the day, so he stayed the night in Toronto.
Somewhere, and somehow, his luggage went missing. “I might have to borrow a shirt [for competition,],” he said. Luckily, I have friends here.”
Chan has his skates because in North America, skaters can take them in their carry-on luggage. “The TSA has allowed it,” Chan said. “In Asia and Europe, I don’t know. But in the past, they’ve made me check in my skates once I arrived in Europe and was connecting in Europe.”
Chan said all the problems he’s had the past two days have been a good test. “The whole hectic travel day,” he mourned. “It’s frustrating. I’ll be honest. Like anybody, I don’t want to put myself in a situation where I’m running around like a dog in the airport, trying to get on a plane. It’s a bit ridiculous.
“But that’s travel. You can’t really control that.”
Chan said he looks at the incident as an opportunity. He said his misfortunes have relaxed him here. He’s going to roll with the punches. “If I don’t have a costume, I don’t have a costume,” he said. “I have my skates. I’ll show up. That’s all I can do.. It’s a good adventure.”
He went out on the ice and practiced his “Hallelujah” free skate, obviously not making jumps the priority. You could see the beauty of it.
There’s no chance his luggage will arrive by the end of Thursday. Perhaps the luggage will finally show up tomorrow, if he’s lucky. He’s hoping it will arrive before competition starts. The men’s event is in the early evening Friday. He at least would like to see his long-program costume again.
So Chan is chilling. Skate Canada International is like a reunion for him, to see his teammates and old friends. He’s here. And ready.