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Madison Chock and Evan Bates Begin the Next Olympic Quad at Skate America

by Liz Leamy


(17 October2022) Madison Chock and Evan Bates, the 2022 U.S. Olympic team silver medalists, three-time World medalists and three-time U.S. Champions, not quite ready to retire, are geared up and ready to go for the next Olympic quad as they prepare to compete at the 2022 Skate America Grand Prix in Norwood, Massachusetts (Thursday, October 21 through Sunday, October 23).

This dance duo, who have been competing together since 2011, have been training with their coaches, Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon and Romain Haguenauer in Montreal this past year in preparation of the upcoming season.  While other of their contemporaries retired after the 2022 World Championships, the couple have decided to continue to compete in ISU competition.

“For us, we knew we wanted to continue to skate,” said Bates, who is from Ann Arbor, Michigan, close by where he and Chock had trained with Igor Shpilband until 2018, prior to their move to Montreal. “We still love what we do. We know there’s room for improvement and growth of our own skating.”

With the retirement of their famous American colleagues, Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, the 2022 U.S. Olympic bronze medalists, four-time World medalists and three-time U.S. champions and absence of Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, the 2022 French Olympic champions and 2018 French Olympic silver medalists who are taking a break from competition this season as well as several other premier teams who will not be participating in ISU-sanctioned events this season, Chock and Bates are in optimal position to claim the top spot in the sport this year.

“There have been changes in the faces around us, even in our own team,” said Bates. “It’s been keeping it fresh for us and there’s also the opportunity to kind of build relationships with some of the new teams at the rink. We’ve really been enjoying the summer and the preparation for the season.”

Bates elaborated on some of the changes he and Chock have experienced at their training center in Montreal this past year.

“A lot of people we’re still in contact with and we [now] see them on the other side of the boards in their new role,” said Bates referencing the fact that some of his former competitive colleagues are now coaches. “It’s fun, it’s part of life as we grow and change and it’s honestly very much the same.”

For their free dance this year, the duo will be skating to original music composed and performed by a local Montreal artist with the theme being centered around their personal journey together, as the two, who had been longtime friends and started dating a few years ago, had recently gotten engaged.

“The story is unique but also staying true to ourselves. I think we’ve put a lot of our own personal story into the free dance,” said Chock, who is originally from Redondo Beach, California. “We recently got engaged and wanted to infuse our story into the free dance. That’s where we drew the inspiration.”

Bates concurred.

“We’re really trying to do something we haven’t done before, something based on emotion and not a character,” said Bates. “We’ve focused on just being ourselves in the program.”

For their short dance that revolves around a Latin-theme, Chock and Bates are skating to music with that lively concept in mind, an endeavor they said they’ve been having a lot of fun with.

“The rhythm dance is very fun. We’re super excited to share [it] with everyone at Skate America,” said Chock. “It’s different, it’s fun and it’s upbeat. We’re still focused on doing classic ballroom dance and staying focused on the core of the rhythm and I think we do that well with our little twist.”

Certainly, it ought to be exciting to watch Chock and Bates once again get into the ring at this famous ISU Grand Prix event in Boston next week.