Chan clarifies China comments

Fri, 09 Dec 15:19:00 2011

Canadian figure skating star Patrick Chan has clarified comments that he feels let down by his country's attitude to the sport and that he would get better support in China.

Canada's Patrick Chan performs during the men's short program - 0

World champion Chan, who is of Chinese descent, claimed that Canada had turned its back on a sport that was once given pride of place in the North American country’s culture, adding that a recent trip to his parents’ homeland saw him treated like a hero.

He concluded by claiming he now felt more Chinese than Canadian, questioning the support he and his parents received in his country of birth.

Unsurprisingly, his comments provoked a backlash, with Chan forced to backtrack somewhat.

"It was a shock," the 20-year-old admitted before the Grand Prix final in Quebec."They were taken out of context.

"I had just gone on a trip to China and it was a wonderful experience. I was able to see my roots, got to see where my parents were from and that's more what I was reacting to.

"I never intended to suggest any negative feelings toward Canada.

"I just wish I said it in a way that didn't leave it open (to misinterpretation)."

In his original interview with Reuters, Chan had said: "If my parents hadn't emigrated from China and say I had skated for China, things would have been very different. My parents wouldn't have had to make as much sacrifices as they have and there would be a lot more respect for what we do as figure skaters.

"I'm extremely well recognised in Korea just because of what I do on the ice and there is a lack of that in Canada because hockey is our sport and it will be for eternity. Figure skating has lost the draw and the attention (it used to have before).

"Several years ago I felt more Canadian but I'm slowly feeling more Chinese and feel I should be more proud of being Chinese and appreciate where I've come from."

Eurosport

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