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theblingmonster

The 2014 Patrick Chan and Yuzu Situation

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So during my quests to learn more about Yuzu, and figure skating in general, it's been inevitable to learn about other skaters in the process. During my time looking through what was going on at Sochi I learned that there was this huge rivalry between Yuzu and Patrick, I even read somewhere that Patrick said he hated Yuzu and said things like he'd "let Yuzu win the GPF of that year" (not sure if that's true or not). But I'm seeing that there was this huge deal with Patrick and Yuzu that I'm not too familiar with, can someone explain to me what that rivalry was like and why it was so intense?

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I've heard of the whole Sochi gala situation where people thought Yuzu intentionally attempted to harm Patrick but that fell entirely down to last minute changes that the choreography team made and didn't seem to realize that putting a skater between two people doing butterfly spins was a bad idea but I haven't heard of really anything else you mentioned in your post. 

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The thing is, Patrick has a bad habit to say a bit too loud what he thinks (how do you say it ? a habit to put his foot in his mouth ?). Winning only silver in Sotchi was a huge disappointment for him, and he let his bitterness show in interviews. For instance he said back then :

Quote

"I have to look at it in a positive fashion. Two silver medals is as good as a gold medal and not even Yuzuru can say he's had as much success as me in his career.
"I'm the only male skater to have ever have left the Olympics with two medals so that's really special to say I have achieved," added Chan, who also won silver with Canada in the team event.
"I think I'm still the best skater in the world for some time. I've above all pushed the sport in a new direction. We're really in a new generation."

 

So basically, in Sotchi, the gold medalist was ashamed to have won gold medal with a flawed free skate, and the silver medalist was bitter because he thought he was the most deserving one (but he's always acknowldged that he screw up, and never contested Yuzu's win, as far as I know). The wole free skate event was quite a disaster tbh, and the podium was far from being as happy and warm as the fantastic one we got in PyeongChang.

 

But more recently, we could see Yuzu and PAtrick bond a bit in competition, especially in 2016-2017 season. And Patrick mentioned in a recent interview that once he had admitted to himself that he had hated Yuzu back then, he made progress with himself and could begin to apreciate Yuzu's skating, while before he was blinded by rivalry. I can't find the reference, sorry.

 

So, well, that's Patrick for you. :) I must admit I find his lack of diplomacy quite endearing :)

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I find it interesting that Patrick has a soft spot for Nathen and close friend with Javi but hated Yuzu. All because Yuzu won that Sochi gold? 

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Somewhere there was an article about Patrick in the lead up to Sochi, talking about his foot in mouth tendency, and concluding that it was harder for him to get away with tactlessness when his rival was a cute Japanese boy with a teddy bear rather than the 'terrifying Russian cyborg' Pluschenko.

 

I used to dislike P because of his tendency to be a bit brattish about his own abilities and his rivals, but he's grown on me since his comeback - he seems to have grown up a bit, and none of the newcomers has his style, which though it can be a bit ponderous for my taste, is unique at the moment.

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If I remember correctly, that "I let him win" quote was obviously a joke on Patrick's side. His entire body language and tone of voice suggested that he wasn't being serious. Perhaps not the best-timed joke, but a joke nonetheless.

 

Back then, Patrick was a bit big-headed, I think. (Or a lot big-headed.) He had won 3 world championships, even when he was far far from his best. Yuzu saw him as the one to beat and if I have my facts straight, Yuzu actually asked for the same GP as Patrick so that he could compete against him more. Yuzu's first 2013 GP was flawed and then with his perfect TEB performances Patrick came out on top again. I suppose at that point Patrick didn't feel Yuzu was an actual serious threat so Yuzu beating him at GPF must have come as a shock. Suddenly Patrick couldn't stumble a few times and still win - and against someone with imperfect program either. Suddenly he was straight-out out-jumped. I think that joke "ehh, I let him win"  was Patrick's defensive mechanism, a way to say that that result was just him having a bad day and a way to escape the fact that Yuzu was an actual, real threat now. Which was his mistake, I believe. And then Yuzu broke the record again in Sochi SP - which must have disconcerted Patrick majorly. A wrench in his plans that he had only noticed - and refused to acknowledge - three months earlier.

 

One of the reasons I admire Yuzu is that his approach to competition is completely different from Patrick's. Yuzu never failed to acknowledge his fellow competitors, never indicated he might feel any animosity towards them for beating him. If somebody beat him, it meant it was up to him to become even better so that he could return to the top.

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I wasn't a fan around the time of Sochi either, but I did read up on this 'rivalry', too. In some ways, I understand Patrick. He pretty much dominated the sport until the Olympic season started and then suddenly there was this kid who started beating him, apparently out of nowhere. He went from having the title in the bag to having not only a rival, but someone who could and would beat him. And then did. I think most people would be bitter about that.

 

I think in a different way, like Daisuke Takahashi, Patrick was forced to become aware of his shortcomings and limitations by Yuzu's arrival. And few people like that.

 

Personally, I think Patrick is probably a really nice guy. All the off ice stuff I've seen with him - which is admittedly not much at all - seemed really nice. But he does have a habit of saying stupid things. But it's ok. So does Javi at times and most Yuzu fans love him anyway lol (Admittedly, Javi's stuff is rarely about Yuzu, but still.) I really liked that clip at 4CC where he was explaining something to Yuzu, and talking together. And I'm really happy he was able to both admit that he did hate Yuzu and then come to terms with him and get over that.

 

(I do find that he talks up Nathan, too, though, especially given Nathan's attitude towards artistry, which was sort of Patrick's selling point throughout his career... but oh well lol)

 

As for the Sochi incident, the picture Patrick posted on SNS did look bad, if I remember correctly, but I re-watched the gala video several times and Patrick was wearing a white shirt and there was no blood on it, so I think it looked a lot worse than it actually was... proper cuts tend to bleed, I think. It was probably more of a scratch or so... And Yuzu immediately went over to check that he was ok. There are haters trying to make a big deal out of that, but it really wasn't. (Actually, Patrick might have 'enjoyed' the little battle scar, to go with the overall result. He was showing it to people at the end of the gala lol Battle scars can be cool, after all. Which is not to say he wanted to get hurt or anything like that. Before anyone gets any ideas. But since it happened anyway, look at the bright side.)

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I try to actively avoid this topic since it's in the past but it seems to be popping in all over twitter. This is not a dig at OP by the way, some people are probably very genuinely curious while other (antis) not so much and just want drama. So here goes my opinion and what I remember... (some of the things I write here might echo what others have already written). I dunno if I'll make much sense though... Warning: wall of text.

 

Spoiler

Patrick is a nice guy but is a bit self-centred. Which can be a positive or a negative - everyone of us has that tendency as well. The issue is that he doesn't have any filter when it comes to the press. He'll talk down his opponents - whether it be Yuzu or someone else. I'm actually laughing that he's finally, after all these years, watched Yuzu compete because Patrick isn't someone who looks too much at what his competitor does (when Yuzu broke the WRs at NHK'15 Chiddy said that he didn't watch it but saw the scores and thought that Yuzu has reached his peak whereas he was still building up to it). That might be his defense mechanism - some skaters like to see what their competitors do and try to minimise their accomplishments, others don't watch at all because they get rattled. The thing is that this inadvertently lead to his downfall. For 3 years, he basically dominated the men's field. In the last 2 seasons leading up to Sochi, he was able to win against clean opponents with a flawed skate so of course he feels that he has a cushion and can afford to have mistakes. Then here comes Yuzu armed with a higher technical content (2 quads) and a reliable triple axel (Chiddy's weakness) and suddenly, he can no longer afford to have mistakes.

 

I'm adding Daisuke Takahashi in this because I've seen a lot of people asking about his relationship with Yuzu as well. I think Daisuke summed it up well. Their personalities just don't match - Yuzu is a 'carnivore' while Daisuke is a 'herbivore'. Imagine being the most successful male skater to come out of your country in recent years, ushering in a new era of figure skating in Japan and being the 1st to accomplish great things - 1st Japanese man to medal at the Olympics and 1st Japanese man to win Gold at the WC. But then you get injured and can't get back to your best form and all the while you have this young guy chasing after you. Daisuke is very emotional and sensitive and can be a bit of a pessimist while Yuzu is intense and just keeps pushing forward no matter what. That's why when you read snippets of interviews with Daisuke about Yuzu there is always that mention of fear - which is a very logical reaction. (In contrast though we have Nobu, who saw Yuzu jump a quad in 2011 and his first thought was "ah, his time has come').

 

In conclusion, these are 3 types of people that have very different views and personalities but all of them are normal human behaviour. Yuzu is someone who is intense, aware of his surroundings and is always looking ahead. Daisuke was someone who looks behind him, fearful of what is coming while Patrick is someone who usually only focuses on himself.

 

None are better than the other - it's just their personalities. I'm not an athlete but if I was, I honestly would say my mindset would probably be closer to Daisuke Takahashi because I'm a bit of a sensitive, emotional, pessimist :tumblr_inline_mqt4grU8ua1qz4rgp:.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Sammie said:

I find it interesting that Patrick has a soft spot for Nathen and close friend with Javi but hated Yuzu. All because Yuzu won that Sochi gold? 

 

Well, he sort of trained a bit with Nathan when they were both with Marina Zueva so he was closer to Nathan while he never had long stretch of interactions with Yuzu until recently. He talked down Javier before and they were friends. I think if you accept that Chiddy's defense mechanism is talking down his competitors then you'll just find yourself amused and after a while, you just get used to Chiddy being Chiddy.

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2 hours ago, kaeryth said:

I try to actively avoid this topic since it's in the past but it seems to be popping in all over twitter. This is not a dig at OP by the way, some people are probably very genuinely curious while other (antis) not so much and just want drama. So here goes my opinion and what I remember... (some of the things I write here might echo what others have already written). I dunno if I'll make much sense though... Warning: wall of text.

 

  Hide contents

Patrick is a nice guy but is a bit self-centred. Which can be a positive or a negative - everyone of us has that tendency as well. The issue is that he doesn't have any filter when it comes to the press. He'll talk down his opponents - whether it be Yuzu or someone else. I'm actually laughing that he's finally, after all these years, watched Yuzu compete because Patrick isn't someone who looks too much at what his competitor does (when Yuzu broke the WRs at NHK'15 Chiddy said that he didn't watch it but saw the scores and thought that Yuzu has reached his peak whereas he was still building up to it). That might be his defense mechanism - some skaters like to see what their competitors do and try to minimise their accomplishments, others don't watch at all because they get rattled. The thing is that this inadvertently lead to his downfall. For 3 years, he basically dominated the men's field. In the last 2 seasons leading up to Sochi, he was able to win against clean opponents with a flawed skate so of course he feels that he has a cushion and can afford to have mistakes. Then here comes Yuzu armed with a higher technical content (2 quads) and a reliable triple axel (Chiddy's weakness) and suddenly, he can no longer afford to have mistakes.

 

I'm adding Daisuke Takahashi in this because I've seen a lot of people asking about his relationship with Yuzu as well. I think Daisuke summed it up well. Their personalities just don't match - Yuzu is a 'carnivore' while Daisuke is a 'herbivore'. Imagine being the most successful male skater to come out of your country in recent years, ushering in a new era of figure skating in Japan and being the 1st to accomplish great things - 1st Japanese man to medal at the Olympics and 1st Japanese man to win Gold at the WC. But then you get injured and can't get back to your best form and all the while you have this young guy chasing after you. Daisuke is very emotional and sensitive and can be a bit of a pessimist while Yuzu is intense and just keeps pushing forward no matter what. That's why when you read snippets of interviews with Daisuke about Yuzu there is always that mention of fear - which is a very logical reaction. (In contrast though we have Nobu, who saw Yuzu jump a quad in 2011 and his first thought was "ah, his time has come').

 

In conclusion, these are 3 types of people that have very different views and personalities but all of them are normal human behaviour. Yuzu is someone who is intense, aware of his surroundings and is always looking ahead. Daisuke was someone who looks behind him, fearful of what is coming while Patrick is someone who usually only focuses on himself.

 

None are better than the other - it's just their personalities. I'm not an athlete but if I was, I honestly would say my mindset would probably be closer to Daisuke Takahashi because I'm a bit of a sensitive, emotional, pessimist :tumblr_inline_mqt4grU8ua1qz4rgp:.

 

 

Ah I had no idea that this topic was sensitive, I'll try to be more careful in the future. Though thank you for all of this insight, I can definitely see where all the tension came from now. I had no idea that Patrick was such a big star before Yuzu came along. And I had no idea that Daisuke Takahashi was such a prominent force in figure skating as well :tumblr_inline_ncmiffG34Z1rpglid:

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12 minutes ago, theblingmonster said:

Ah I had no idea that this topic was sensitive, I'll try to be more careful in the future. Though thank you for all of this insight, I can definitely see where all the tension came from now. I had no idea that Patrick was such a big star before Yuzu came along. And I had no idea that Daisuke Takahashi was such a prominent force in figure skating as well :tumblr_inline_ncmiffG34Z1rpglid:

 

Hahaha.. it's fine since I know that you're just genuinely curious about it rather than trying to start things up (again) which is exhausting as a Yuzu fan. Also, this dynamic between Yuzu and Patrick (as well as Yuzu & Daisuke) sort of happened over a time period and can't really be quantified just by googling interviews and articles so I understand why some people are intrigued by this and wants to get a clearer picture. 

 

 

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Patrick has been known all along for being a bit self-centered and don't think twice before he says anything lol. He's like that not only to Yuzu thou. Cuz Yuzu vs Patrick rivalry is strong during last Oly so there are some unnice things he might've said then, but I feel kinda understanding knowing his then status and personality, and it's not like he actually did anything harmful to Yuzu either. Chiddy is no where near a bad guy as long as I consider thou, and after following skating for a while I appreciate his skill even more.

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Yuzu reminds me of Michael Phelps when in reaction to Patrick saying he'll "let Yuzu win the GPF and win the Olympics himself", he used it as fuel to go on to win the Olympics. Chiddy kind of mentally caved at both Vancouver and Sochi Olympics, while Yuzuru came in as an underdog in Sochi and coming back from injury in Pyeonchang.

 

edit: this rivalry is also why us fans were so tickled when Patrick and Yuzu were so friendly and having long conversation behind the scene at 4CC.

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7 hours ago, kaeryth said:

Imagine being the most successful male skater to come out of your country in recent years, ushering in a new era of figure skating in Japan and being the 1st to accomplish great things - 1st Japanese man to medal at the Olympics and 1st Japanese man to win Gold at the WC. But then you get injured and can't get back to your best form and all the while you have this young guy chasing after you.

 

  Hide contents

 

 

We don't even have to imagine too hard. While Yuzuru is injured, you got all these young skaters with crazy technical contents challenging multi-quad programs. All of the sudden, Yuzuru (according to the US media) is no longer the one to beat. Rather this 18 year old with lower artistic skills and not much resume to back up his front runner status is the one to beat. Had Nathan won the Olympics, we would be in the same boat as PChiddy supporters most likely and be bitter til the end of days. It's why I give them some slack when they still talk about Yuzuru like he hasn't continuously improved his skating and tech through this entire quad and is no longer the noodily youngster with stamina issues. It's probably why while I had convinced myself that all I want is Yuzuru to have 2 skates he can be proud of in Pyeonchang medal or no medal. I always knew deep down, I would have SO MUCH problem had Nathan won. Not the same case for Boyang or Shoma since they've been actively trying to improve their programs (Boyang more than Shoma).

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