Canadian national champion skater and world silver medalist Patrick Chan has parted ways with is coach Don Laws, according to CTV. Laws told Skate Canada (the Canadian skating federation) that he would not attend the Canadian Championships or the 2010 Olympics "because he's taking a full-time coaching job at a new skating facility in West Palm Beach, Fla.
For now, Chan's choreographer Lori Nichol will take over as his head coach, according to the article.
Per Chan, from the article:
"I would like to sincerely thank Mr. Laws for everything he has done over the past few years with me, and I wish him nothing but the best at the Palm Beach Ice Works," Chan, the 2009 world silver medallist, said in a statement on his website.
"I respect his decision to move into his role full-time...He has been a real mentor to me and I know that my former coach Mr. Colson would have greatly appreciated the work that Mr. Laws did."
This all makes it seem like Laws chose to leave Chan, but I can't imagine that's the case. Who would leave a medal contender right before the Olympics in the skater's home country? I wonder what the backstory is and how this will affect Chan. We'll soon find out next weekend during the Canadian national championships.
UPDATE: Icenetwork has more to this story. Apparently, Chan started training in Colorado after Homesense Skate Canada and his disappointing skating there. Laws was in West Palm Beach, so he decided to stop training with Chan. Still, seems like an odd time to split!
Chan decided to train in Colorado Springs shortly after competing in HomeSense Skate Canada, where he placed sixth. According to Laws, Chan originally went to Colorado to work with Dartfish video training techniques. Laws did travel to Colorado Springs but said he was there more as "a spectator'' than as a coach.
Chan returned to Florida to perform in a rink holiday show in December and told Laws he wanted to return to Colorado for altitude training. "That was interesting because most of Vancouver is at sea level,'' Laws said. Laws said he asked Skate Canada to credential choreographer Lori Nichol, who once was coached by Laws, as Chan's coach. According to officials at Skate Canada, Nichol will be credentialed as will American coach Christy Krall, who is based in Colorado Springs. Nichol was with Chan at Skate Canada earlier this season.