Becoming the world's best in anything, sports or otherwise, is rarely an easy venture.
Doing it twice is even more difficult.
Three times? Another matter altogether. Canada's Patrick Chan found out how hard a three-peat is on Saturday in London, Ont., at the world figure skating championships.
And it didn't come without a dose of humility.
Following an error-filled skate in the free — Chan fell twice and downgraded some of his jumps — the 22-year-old Torontonian apologized to the fans in attendance at Budweiser Gardens.
"I'm sorry I didn't give you a good program," Chan said. "I wanted to do it so badly."
"I definitely was disappointed in myself because I really wanted to go out there and have a short-program moment," he said. "The moment wasn't as good as it could have been, but it was nonetheless very special."
It's easy to believe that the fans forgave him after Chan treated them to a little history on Wednesday with this world record-setting short program:
Next up for the Canadian figure skating superstar? Getting prepared for the Sochi Games, where he'll attempt to do something that neither he, or any other Canadian men's singles skater has done before: capture Olympic gold.
Around the world
Check out where Canada's top athletes of the weekend were in action on our interactive map:
- Tessa Virtue (London, Ont.) and Scott Moir (Ilderton, Ont.) finished with a silver medal in ice dance at the world championships.
- Meagan Duhamel (Lively, Ont.) and Eric Radford (Toronto) took bronze in pairs.
- Kaetlyn Osmond (Marystown, N.L.) hit her goal of a top-10 finish in the women's event with an eighth-place ranking, assuring Canada of two women's spots in the upcoming Sochi Games.
- Alex Bilodeau (Rosemere, Que.) beat fellow Canadian Mikael Kingsbury (Deux-Montagne, Que.) in dual moguls in Are, Sweden.
- Dominique Maltais (Petite-Riviere-Saint Francois, Que.) won silver in World Cup snowboard cross in Veysonnaz, Switzerland.
- Maltais also won gold with teammate Maelle Ricker (Squamish, B.C.) in team snowboard cross.
- A Canadian team on the men's side of that event also took home gold — Chris Robanske (North Vancouver, B.C.) and Robert Fagan (Squamish, B.C.).
- Georges St-Pierre (Saint-Isidore-de-Clifton, Que.) manhandled Nick Diaz to successfully defend his welterweight title at UFC 158 in Montreal.