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Chan wins record 10th title

Patrick Chan has accomplished what no other Canadian skater has, absolutely dominating his event in this country for a decade.

The 27-year-old from Toronto captured a record 10th national senior figure skating title on Saturday in Vancouver, in his final appearance at the event. And while he wasn't able to execute No. 10 with the flawless precision of previous years, he took a moment to appreciate what he's accomplished.

"Ten is, after seeing it on the screen, being past Montgomery Wilson (who won nine titles between 1929 and '39), it's pretty wild," Chan said.

"And then you see Kurt (Browning) and Brian (Orser) and Elvis (Stojko) on that list, and to see that I've accomplished what they've accomplished, and a bit more, it's amazing because I've looked up to them as idols."

Gabrielle Daleman battled through pneumonia to win the women's singles title on her 20th birthday, while Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir captured their eighth Canadian ice dance title, and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford won a Canadian-record seventh pairs title.

Competing in only his second major event this season, the 27-year-old Chan scored 181.26 for his free skate, touching a hand down on his first quadruple toe loop, landing his second one, then downgrading two planned triple Axels — still enough to capture the title with 272.24 total points.

"It's obviously not the dream skate you expect for Number 10," Chan said. "Of course I would have loved to have landed and nailed every single jump, but I did what I had to do. I had a lot of my own demons to battle coming here, so I think I was able to accomplish a big goal and a big step forward, so I feel good."

Chan's demons included a dreadful performance at Skate Canada International, where he finished off the podium for the first time in eight years, and fled to the West Coast to consider his next move. He scrapped the rest of the Grand Prix season, choosing to stay in B.C. and work with a new set of coaches in his final push to Pyeongchang.

"It's not the best skate of my life, having won the 10th," he reiterated. "But there's been a lot of great ones that I can count."

He hopes for one more great one before the book closes on his career at the Olympic Games.

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