by Liz Leamy
(2 January 2022)
(2 January 2022)Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, the three-time U.S. Champions and three-time World medalists, are looking forward to meet their competition at the 2022 U.S. Championships in Nashville.
This internationally top-rated team has been competing together for more than 10 years and trains in Montreal with Marie France-Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon and Romaine Hagenauer, are now focused on preparing for U.S> Nationals, where the U.S. Olympic Team for the 2022 Beijing Olympics twill be selected.
“We’re training well, we’re healthy and looking forward to seeing everyone in person and having a live audience again, if possible, and getting back to business,” said Hubbell, who hails from Okemos, Michigan.
According to this duo, much of the focus in their training over the past month has been on honing the small details of their elements in their programs.
“We’re working on small details,” said Hubbell. “Basically, we [also] touched upon the choreographic elements of the free dance so we show the best assets of ourselves.”
Through this process, Hubbell and Donohue have maintained a ‘big picture’ perspective of this arduous and incredible experience.
“We have so much we’re pushing for this season,” said Donohue in regard to Nationals and the prospect of competing at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. “We’re either fighting for a medal or fighting for a title and we’re appreciating and drawing everything in. There are a lot of amazing things we get to take advantage of during the push of the season and I think that’s fueling us at this point.”
In Nashville, Hubbell and Donohue will face off against nearly a dozen of the country’s premier teams, including Madison Chock and Evan Bates, the two-time U.S. titlists and two-time World silver medalists who also train with France-Dubreuil, Lauzon and Hagenauer.
This year, Hubbell and Donohue are skating to a Janet Jackson medley for the Rhythm Dance and to Anna Sila’s ‘Drowning for the free dance, both of which are programs they are excited about.
“[For us at this point], it’s just to stay focused, work hard and do our job,” said Hubbell. “It doesn’t matter so much as what you’re doing but how you’re doing it and there are so many amazing athletes in this race.”
For this team, who was fourth at the 2018 Olympics, it’s also about embracing the prospect of representing the U.S. at the Olympics again.
“What we took from the last Olympic Games was appreciation and we want to enjoy it as much as we can,” said Hubbell. “We want the pressure of the Olympic Games to melt away and really focus on the honor of representing Team USA and the joy of being there with our team.”
Hubbell and Donohue, who plan on stepping away from the competition scene at the conclusion of the 2021-2022 season, expressed deep gratitude for reaching this juncture in their skating careers and lives.
“For me, I feel less pressure and with experience, I know that no outcome is really that bad,” said Hubbell. “With that, I’ve grown, I’m here, I’m happy with my life and I’m happy with the choices I’ve made and the work we’ve put in.”
This statement reveals so much of why this team has been so successful with their skating throughout the years. At the same time, it also speaks volumes about Hubbell and Donohue’s perspective in terms of who they are as individuals as well.
The U.S. Championship Ice Dance competition will take place at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Friday, January 7th at 2:00 pm (Rhythm Dance) and Saturday, January 8th at 7:45 pm (Free Dance).