Despite two falls during his free skate Friday in Ontario, Patrick Chan’s record setting short program two nights earlier helped him hang on for his third straight world figure skating title.
“I am angry at myself,” Chan said afterward. “I am mad because I didn’t skate well for this audience. I am sorry I didn’t skate better for them.”
“Maybe I’m saving it up for Sochi.”
The hometown hero finished with a combined score of 267.78 to scrape out a one-point victory over Denis Ten of Kazakhstan, whose flawless long routine brought the Canadian crowd to their feet for a thunderous standing ovation.
“It’s my best performance of the year,” Ten said. “And maybe of my skating career.”
Ten, 19, easily earned the highest score of the night despite being considered by many to be the wild card of these championships, and his silver medal is a loud statement with the Olympics less than a year away. Quad King Javier Fernandez of Spain rounded out the podium in third place.
U.S. champ Max Aaron skated an entertaining, solid set right up until landing one of his leaps into the wall. He recovered quickly to finish seventh and ensure the Americans will get two spots in Sochi. They couldn’t earn a third, however, as Ross Miner’s three falls kicked him down to fourteenth place.
Steve Langton, who was described by driver Steven Holcomb as the “best push athlete in the world,” announced his retirement today.
A collegiate sprinter and jumper at Northeastern University, Langton decided to try bobsledding after watching the 2006 Winter Olympics. He filled out an online athlete resume, and, by the 2010 Games, he was an Olympian.
At the Sochi 2014 Games, Langton teamed with Holcomb to win a bronze medal in the two-man race. It was the first Olympic medal in the event by American sled since 1952. He claimed another bronze medal as a member of Holcomb’s four-man “Night Train.”
“In Sochi I competed on the world’s biggest stage, I won two medals for my country and I did so along not only the best teammates but best friends anyone could ever ask for,” Langton told USA Bobsled.
Langton, who has a 62-inch standing box jump and can squat more than 500 pounds, was described by Men’s Health as “the most powerful winter Olympian” in the lead-up to 2014 Games.
“[Langton’s] work ethic and discipline rubbed off on the other athletes and made everyone better,” said USA Bobsled & Skeleton Chief Executive Officer Darrin Steele. “I have no doubt that he’ll find success in the next chapter of his life as well.”
Langton appeared on “The Amazing Race” in 2015 with his girlfriend, Aly Dudek, an Olympic short track speedskater.
None of the push athletes on the current U.S. roster have Olympic experience. Holcomb will compete in the World Cup opener this Saturday with Sam McGuffie, a former University of Michigan football player. The race will be McGuffie’s World Cup debut.