Patrick Chan to skip figure skating season

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OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Three-time world champion Patrick Chan will skip the upcoming figure skating season and return to the circuit for the 2015-16 season.

Chan, who took a break from training over the spring and summer while he considered his future, will take part in invitational events and exhibition programs during the coming months.

"My goal is to return to a full competitive schedule after this year," the 23-year-old Canadian said. "I am proud of my accomplishments in Sochi and my world championship titles, but I do feel that there is still more that I can achieve. I will return to competition having learned new ways of training and preparing from this year off."

Chan had an excellent chance to become Canada's first Olympic men's figure skating champion last February in Sochi. But he struggled in his free skate and settled for silver behind Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu. He also helped Canada win silver in the inaugural team event.

Chan did not try to win a fourth straight world title this year. He skipped the competition in Japan and Hanyu took gold there as well.

The seven-time Canadian men's champion will continue to work with Kathy Johnson from his training base in Detroit.

The Toronto skater has been working on a new free program, choreographed by David Wilson to a Chopin medley. The program will be revealed this week when Chan skates with the North American team at this week's Japan Open invitational event in Saitama.

"This program uses very contemporary movements in my skating," Chan said. "I'm taking the time to enjoy building out the program and working on the flow of the artistry. And I'm experimenting with different things in my training cycle without feeling that same intensity to do full run-throughs of each program every day that I felt building to the Olympics."

Chan hopes that his year away from competition will help him when he returns in 2015.

"I'm learning how to accomplish the same results from a more relaxed, less intense training regimen that I feel will help me going forward next year," he said.

Chan is to perform exhibition programs with Stars on Ice and plans to be part of a Scott Hamilton ice show in Cleveland and Skatemania in Quebec City.

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