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Hubbell and Donohue Set for World Dance Showdown in Stockholm

by Liz Leamy

(22 March 2021)  Madison Hubbell & Zach Donohue, the three-time U.S. champions and two-time World medalists, are amped as ever to compete at the upcoming World Championships in Stockholm, Sweden where they will go head to head against some of the sport’s other premiere dance duos in hopes of winding up at the top of the leaderboard.

Hubbell & Donohue, one of the sport’s most dynamic dance teams who scored their third national title at the 2021 U.S. Championships in Las Vegas last January, are in the hunt for gold at this celebrated annual global event, which will be held March 22nd to March 28th at the Ericsson Globe in Johanneshov, Stockholm.

At this famous venue in this historic Scandinavian city, which is comprised of 14 islands connected by 57 bridges, Hubbell and Donohue will face off against Madison Chock & Evan Bates, the 2020 and 2015 U.S. champions and two-time World medalists and Viktoria Sinitsina & Nikita Katsalapov of Russia, the 2019 World silver medalists and 2019 and 2020 Russian gold medalists, along with other entries who are hoping to garner a podium finish at this event.

More than anything, Hubbell & Donohue are grateful to have the opportunity to compete internationally in light of the fact that it has been such a challenging and unprecedented time with the pandemic this past year.

The duo, who train in Montreal with Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon and Romain Haguenauer, are known in the skating community for their incredible work ethic, which has been a big part of their success together.

They are said to spend hours each day working on elements such as twizzles, turns, steps and lifts while also steadfastly running through their programs as well as working extensively off ice in the gym.

“It’s good to be heading into the World Championships,” said Hubbell. “It’s our first competition abroad. We’ve been training hard and have [especially] been doing a lot of repetitions and cardio.”

This season, all of their hard work seems to be paying off more than ever, as they reclaimed the U.S. dance title after Chock & Bates had taken first at the 2020 U.S. Championships. (Hubbell & Donohue were also the U.S. champions in 2018 and 2019, respectively.)

At the 2021 U.S. Championships in Las Vegas this past January, Hubbell & Donohue scored big points for their stellar ‘Hallelujah’ free dance.

One of its highlights included a memorable footwork sequence in which the team executed almost every single one of the sport’s turns and steps in both directions with great speed, command and aptitude, which is an impressive feat, to say the least.

This, taken along with the fact that the reigning four-time French World champions and 2018 Olympic silver medalists, Gabrielle Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron decided to take this season off, presents a terrific opportunity for Hubbell & Donohue at this event to indeed wind up at the top of the leaderboard.

For the couple, however, it’s all about being their best wherever and whenever they skate, especially when they perform.

“It is a sport and part of it is being able to perform and do your job,” said Hubbell, a Michigan native.

Donohue, who hails from Hartford, Connecticut, expressed the team’s extreme gratitude for having an opportunity to compete internationally during these pandemic times.

“We’re excited and grateful more than anything,” said Donohue, citing the team’s great appreciation to the International Skating Union for taking so many measures and precautions to insure safety for everyone attending Worlds next week.

These sentiments certainly seem to carry great power indeed, as the roster of talented athletes slated compete at Worlds next week ought to inspire and also generate feelings of hope to those who will watch them skate during this pandemic time.