We like Patrick Chan. Sweetheart of a guy. Good figure skater. But dissing your home country is typically not a wise communications move for a national sports hero. Yet that appeared to be exactly what Chan did when a Reuters story quoted him this week as saying that he sometimes felt more appreciated in China than in his native Canada, where hockey gets the spotlight. Cue media uproar. So Chan issued a statement clarifying his comments, which he said were taken out of context. “I never intended to suggest any negative feelings toward Canada, nor our country’s proud figure skating tradition,” the statement read. But that was just a warm-up. In an interview with The Toronto Star’s Randy Starkman, Chan went for the crisis communications equivalent of the triple Axel: the full-on apology. “When I was in high school, I remember when I would get in trouble I would feel awful for the rest of the day. That’s exactly how I feel now… I’m extremely deeply sorry for what I said and I never meant to offend anyone.” And in case anyone doubted his patriotism, he had the permanent evidence to prove them wrong: a leg tattoo of a Maple Leaf with the Olympic rings and flame. “I’m branded for life,” Chan said. Now, we TD+Fers are no big fans of the “my words were taken out of context” defence. But we think we know a believable mea culpa when we read one, and Chan pulled it off. Nice recovery.