It might be the fiercest rivalry in figure skating.
Almost two years after Patrick Chan stepped off the Sochi Olympic ice beaten and heartbroken, having lost gold to Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu, the two face off once again at this week's Skate Canada International.
It's Chan's first major international competition since taking a year off. It's also the first time he'll compete against his young Japanese rival since Sochi.
"I'm excited . . . just for the sheer adrenalin rush," Chan said. "I don't think it could have worked out better. It will be a great comparison to see. . . first of all, someone who's been extremely successful since the Olympics and continued to dominate (Hanyu), and someone who's had a year off, and has been successful in different ways."
Chan looked to have gold in his grasp in Sochi, after a flawed program by Hanyu. But Chan faltered as well, and the three-time world champion walked away from competition to consider his future after his second-place finish.
He didn't stray far though. Chan, who said he accepted the results from the Olympics "a long time ago," skated on several show tours, which took him around the world and saw him perform several times a week.
Hanyu, meanwhile, continued to compete after Sochi and finished second behind Spain's Javier Fernandez at the world championships last March.
Chan has eased himself back into competing by skating in a couple of smaller events, including the Japan Open where he had "a banana-peel slip" just seconds into his long program, and then didn't land a quad. He finished third.
"I was nervous and wasn't comfortable in the competition environment anymore," he said. "I have to get back into the world of competitive skating as opposed to show skating, it's very different, and the only way to get better at it, and to get more comfortable is to keep competing."
He unveiled his new short program — to Michael Buble's version of "Mack the Knife" — at a minor competition in Quebec.
The 24-year-old from Toronto is taking a patient approach to this season. It might take some time before he can reel off his big quad jumps. But he said his sights are set firmly on the world championships in Boston in March.
And regardless of the results this week, Chan said he's excited to show the more mature side of his skating, honed in a year under the show tour spotlight.
"I'm skating with a bit of lightness and a breath of fresh air in my skating, and that's something that was missing over the last two seasons," Chan said. "And I'm so glad I'm able to finally identify what I need to do to be successful."
Nam Nguyen, a 17-year-old from Toronto who won the Canadian championships last season in Chan's absence, is also among the field.
Canada's world champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford headline the pairs field. Duhamel, from Lively, Ont., and Radford, from Balmertown, Ont., perfected the quad throw Lutz in the off-season — they already do the quad throw Salchow.
Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L., makes her return to the Grand Prix circuit after a broken leg kept her out all of last season.
She'll battle world champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva. The Russian, who landed a triple Axel en route to claiming world gold in March, swept her Grand Prix events last season.
Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, both of Waterloo, Ont., are the favourites in ice dance. Weaver and Poje won bronze at the world championships last spring in Shanghai.
Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press