Two different countries, too many different situations and varying factors are involved to say that because Keegan climbed the ladder in Canada, that he would have been able to do the same in the U.S. The U.S. men's field is so deep that many talented men end up retiring because their upward trajectory is thwarted by lack of opportunities, injuries, logistical and family concerns, financial concerns, etc.I was just watching some old skating videos ( Big Surprise ) it got me thinking. If Keegan had stayed in the US do you think Jason, as our # 3 skater, would still make the Olympic Team. IMO, Keegan is the clear #1 skater in Canada and he did beat Jason at Worlds by 1 spot. I know this will never happen but, hypothetically, what do you think?
It is precisely because Keegan saw more opportunity to reach the top in Canada, that he switched countries (also because he had the option to switch, while many athletes don't). Keegan's home state of Alaska is geographically closer and somewhat more similar to regions of Canada than the U.S. It was surely not a difficult switch culturally for Keegan, so it turned out to be a smart decision. Still, he had to 'pay his dues,' and somewhat wait his turn competitively before he was fully accepted as a proud, fellow Canuck!
It's very hard to say that Keegan would have been able to rival Jason in the U.S. Probably not. Plus with the advent of Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou and their multiple quads, Keegan would likely never have gained position for an opportunity to win. He's had several opportunities to win a national championship in Canada. I for one, hope heartily that Keegan can finally win a Canadian national championship next year on his likely return to the Olympics, prior to retiring.
While Keegan surely would have pushed other guys in the U.S., including Adam Rippon, Ross Miner, Max Aaron, et al., before their retirements, as I said, the U.S. has been knee-deep in men's talent for awhile. As an athlete, when you see the path blocked so heavily like that, it's surely quite difficult to stay motivated and able to notch training goals, much less competitive results goals.