Jan 23, 2012 5:15 PM by Jordan Mason
It's that time of year again. The U.S. Figure Skating Championships are this week in San Jose, California, and there are again many skaters from Colorado Springs who will be on center stage, including one rising star who's developing quite the friendship with the top figure skater in the world.
Max Aaron is one of America's top up-and-coming skaters, and the 19-year old is learning from the champ.
Max's best bud is defending world champion Patrick Chan.
"You kind of just watch by example," said Max. "You see what he does at practice every day and see what he does to make himself so good. We feed off that energy on the ice and we kind of share that on the ice."
Patrick is Canadian, but lives and trains in Colorado Springs. He met max a couple years ago, as the two share ice time at the World Arena Ice Hall, and they have clicked ever since.
Get this: Max grew up playing hockey, despite being from golf-Mecca, Scottsdale, Arizona. And Patrick is an avid golfer, even though he's from the land of hockey, Ottawa, Canada.
"I think I've played a lot more golf than he has," said Patrick. "But he's so much better than me in hockey. The ratio's much larger and it's kind of embarrassing because I'm Canadian and I should be able to play hockey."
"I know he shoots a couple strokes better than me on each hole," said Max, "so it adds up."
Max pokes fun at Patrick when he falls at practice, but he knows he's getting a very special opportunity.
"I think that what's great is that I can help him out and tell him what I've experienced and the mistakes I've made," said Patrick. "But also, we don't have that older brother, little brother kind of feel. I feel like we're just buds."
"I kind of totally look up to him and see how he does things and try to copy him and become like him," said Max.
And if Max Aaron is anything like his good friend Patrick at the U.S. Championships, he'll be one of the names to know in San Jose.
Max Aaron has the highest technical score in America right now and is about one year and three months younger than the 21-year old Patrick Chan.
Aaron skates with the Colorado Springs' Broadmoor Skating Club. Chan is with Toronto's Granite Club.