Patrick Chan’s mom ‘coping with the separation’ from figure skating champion

Patrick Chan
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Not everybody in Patrick Chan‘s camp was on board with his move from Colorado Springs, Colo., to the Detroit area earlier this year.

Namely, his mother, Karen.

While Chan was winning his fourth Skate Canada title (video here), his mom was in Europe and apparently not following the action from afar.

She sent Chan an email late Saturday night wishing him good luck. Chan’s response?

“I already skated,” according to Canadian reports. Chan had won a few hours earlier.

Chan’s mother was for a long time heavily involved in his skating — his manager, chauffeur and cook, among other responsibilities, according to the Canadian Press. They lived in a hotel together when he trained in Florida and moved to Colorado together before the 2010 Olympics.

The three-time reigning world champion said his mother’s trip to Europe was her way of “coping with the separation” after he left her in Colorado to live alone in a Detroit area apartment.

“It was a transition from locations and also a transition in my life,” Chan said, according to the Toronto Star. “I’d turned 22. This was time for me to take ownership. It’s a step I had to take to prepare for the Olympics.

“It was really hard for her. If it was her choice, she would definitely want to live with me. I had to draw the line.”

He also drew a line after winning his third straight World Championship in March. Chan had asked his mom if he could get a car after his first two World Championships and was denied both times. After No. 3, he went out and bought a used 2011 charcoal BMW on his own.

In Detroit, Chan now cooks his own meals — quinoa, wild race and gluten-free pasta among them — and does his own car repairs.

“I have to look after the bills,” he said, according to the Star. “I have to make sure my accounts have money and I can write checks. That’s stuff my mom did my whole life. Having those tools, outside of skating, is going to take me a long way, I think, in the Olympic Village.

“In Vancouver, I was very lost. I needed someone to guide me, whereas now I can go into the village, be comfortable, know that, yes, I should eat this, no, I shouldn’t eat that, or I feel the need to go to the gym or do some recovery. I’m in control of everything.”

Chan’s father, Lewis, a lawyer, was at Skate Canada.

Patrick Chan defends Detroit, inspired by Tigers star

Kelly Cheng, Sara Hughes, beach volleyball’s new sensation, win World Tour Finals

Kelly Cheng, Sara Hughes
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In just a few months since reuniting, Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes have become not just the best women’s beach volleyball team in the U.S., but also, arguably, the world.

Cheng and Hughes, former partners who got back together for a 2024 Olympic run, won the World Tour Finals for the biggest title for a U.S. pair since April Ross and Alix Klineman took gold in Tokyo.

The 27-year-old Californians swept reigning world champions Duda and Ana Patricia of Brazil 21-18, 21-16 in Sunday’s final in Doha.

Cheng and Hughes have entered four tournaments since reuniting last fall and won all of them — once on the domestic AVP tour and now three international events.

They are rolling into the start of the 2024 Olympic qualifying window next week. It’s likely that the top two U.S. women’s pairs across international events over the course of the next 18 months qualify for the Paris Games.

Cheng and Hughes were previously NCAA champion teammates at USC, then the most promising, young U.S. pro team before splitting in 2018. Cheng made the Tokyo Olympics with Sarah Sponcil (lost in the round of 16), while Hughes’ Tokyo bid flamed out when partner Summer Ross suffered a back injury in 2019.

“It was a lot of the unknown and being young and kind of immature and listening to maybe outside forces and not really knowing how to deal with things as well,” Hughes said in October of their past breakup. “We’ve pretty much moved past that in our relationship. Moving forward with one another, we’re completely different players, and we’re a lot more mature. It feels like the right time. The past is past. We’re just moving forward.”

Cheng and Hughes have taken over from April Ross and Klineman as the top U.S. team. After winning Olympic gold, Klineman underwent shoulder surgery in January 2022 and last week announced she is pregnant and may return from childbirth for a “last-second” 2024 Olympic qualifying bid.

April Ross, a 40-year-old with an Olympic medal of every color, last competed in March, then withdrew before June’s world championships, where she was entered with Emily Day, with an unspecified injury. She has not announced if or when she plans to return to competition.

The U.S. earned at least one beach volleyball medal at every Olympics that the sport has been on the program (since 1996), and a men’s or women’s gold at all but one Olympics. Eighteen months out from the Paris Games, Cheng and Hughes are the best hope to keep the podium streak going.

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Germany opens bobsled worlds with double gold; Kaillie Humphries gets silver

Laura Nolte Bobsled
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Germans Laura Nolte and Johannes Lochner dethroned the reigning Olympic and world champions to open the world bobsled championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland, this weekend.

Nolte, the Olympic two-woman champion driver, won the four-run monobob by four tenths of a second over American Kaillie Humphries, who won the first world title in the event in 2021 and the first Olympic title in the event in 2022. Another German, Lisa Buckwitz, took bronze.

In the two-man, Lochner became the first driver to beat countryman Francesco Friedrich in an Olympic or world championships event since 2016, ending Friedrich’s record 12-event streak at global championships between two-man and four-man.

Friedrich, defeated by 49 hundredths, saw his streak of seven consecutive world two-man titles also snapped.

Lochner, 32, won his first outright global title after seven Olympic or world silvers, plus a shared four-man gold with Friedrich in 2017.

Swiss Michael Vogt drove to bronze, one hundredth behind Friedrich. Geoff Gadbois and Martin Christofferson filled the top American sled in 18th.

Americans Steven Holcomb and Steven Langton were the last non-Germans to win a world two-man title in 2012.

Bobsled worlds finish next weekend with the two-woman and four-man events.

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