Bruce Arthur: Chan’s actions speak louder than his words
The easy line, of course, is that perhaps now Patrick Chan will feel a little more appreciated. After winning the Lou Marsh Award as Canada’s athlete of the year Tuesday in a vote of writers and broadcasters — one week after comments that ignited a brief firestorm regarding his patriotism — the 20-year-old figure skater could almost laugh about it.
“I hope the award wasn’t given to me just to make me realize that I should appreciate what I have,” a cheerful Chan said on a conference call. “No matter if I had won the award or not, my idea of Canada would never change.”
As someone who was in the room, I can confidently say that was not a part of the discussion over the award, which has been given out by the Toronto Star since 1936. Chan was the overwhelming favourite among the final group of speed skater Christine Nesbitt, shot putter Dylan Armstrong, Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto, Milwaukee Brewers reliever John Axford, and show jumper Eric Lamaze. But it was Chan’s idea of Canada that was under fire last week, when remarks he made to Reuters three months ago surfaced like a whale on the eve of figure skating’s Grand Prix final in Quebec City. (Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)