Silver medallist Patrick Chan denies 'Canadian curse' in figure skating
Three-time world figure skating champion Patrick Chan admitted Olympic gold had slipped through his fingers but denied a "Canadian curse" had prevented him from winning the title.
Chan, skating immediately after eventual champion Yuzuru Hanyu in the men's free skating final, had a wonderful chance to top the podium after an error-strewn performance from the Japanese youngster at the Iceberg Skating Palace.
But the 23-year-old, who finished just fifth at his home Olympics in Vancouver in 2010, made mistakes of his own and failed to seize his chance, ending up having to settle for silver with an overall total of 275.62 points, 4.47 away from the gold medal. It was his second silver in Sochi for Chan after the new team event.
It was the fifth time a Canadian man has narrowly missed out on the gold medal in the past 30 years.
Brian Orser - who now coaches Hanyu - placed second in 1984 and 1988, while Elvis Stojko followed suit in 1994 and 1998, leading to talk of a "Canadian curse".
Chan, the son of Hong Kong emigrants who settled in Canada, admitted the favourites were wearing "rough skates".
"I just made one too many mistakes," he said.
"I had that chance and it just slipped out of my hands. It happens. Even the best athletes in the world make mistakes sometimes and it happens at the Olympics sometimes too," he said.
"Just because I missed that opportunity here today at these Olympics, it doesn't define my career. It doesn't change the fact that I'm still one of the best figure skaters in the world," he added.
Chan's achievements include gold at the world championships in 2011, 2012 and 2013.