Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue win last Skate America of their careers, tying record for winning streak – OlympicTalk

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LAS VEGAS – Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue couldn’t ask for a better start to the end.

The decorated ice dancers have previously proclaimed that this 2021-2022 Olympic season will be the last of their long careers, and so far it’s a dream.

With Sunday’s Skate America title, Hubbell and Donohue won the first two competitions of their season, both at home.

Their victory over Skate America completes a sweep of the four in a row they’ve been assigned to and ties them to skating legends Nathan Chen, Todd Eldredge, Michelle kwan and ice dancers Meryl davis/Charlie blanc for the longest winning streak of the event across all disciplines.

They also ended their stay at the Orleans Arena with the best marks of the season in free dance (125.96) and the total (209.54). Their rhythmic dance at the United States International Figure Skating Classic last month scored 84.06 points, while they scored 83.58 points on Saturday.

“I couldn’t be happier with the performance today,” said Hubbell. “Some days you get inspired by different things, whether it’s the work you do at home or my mom in the stands. Something clicked this morning and I really wanted to skate for myself and really be there with Zach and present for the performance from start to finish.

“I think we both achieved that goal and in doing so achieved the other goal, which was to win gold.”

Knowing this is their final season has allowed Hubbell and Donohue to soak up every experience and prepare for every competition in a way they wouldn’t have had before.

“Certainly our approach for Skate America was to try to be in the best shape we’ve ever been at Skate America and I can say we’re very proud of where we are physically,” Hubbell explained. “It’s a great sign in October. … Overall I would say we felt very ready and prepared and supported by the work we did at home and put on what felt more like a December or January performance to us.

Hubbell and Donohue were fourth, having put both hands on the ice, on their Olympic debut in 2018. After winning medals at the three world championships held since – the only team to do so – they are favorites for one. medal at the Beijing 2022 Winter Games. The Olympic Games arrive in February.

American teammates Madison hold and Evan bates, considered longtime rivals of Hubbell and Donohue both nationally and internationally, finished second in Las Vegas with 208.23 points. Their free dance Daft Punk was only 0.28 behind that of Hubbell and Donohue, which is set to “Drowning” by Anne Sila.

Canadians Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sorenson won bronze with a distant 190.13, closely followed by Spain Smart olivia and Adrien diaz at 189.69.

Top four teams train at the Montreal Ice Academy, led by coaches Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon and Romain Haguenauer.

While this was Hubbell and Donohue’s fifth Skate America appearance – and their medal – in six years, it was the first for Chock and Bates in six years. They won the event in 2014 and 2015 and then haven’t received it as one of their two Grands Prix so far.

“Six years is a really long time,” Bates said. “Obviously when we were here in Chicago in 2015 it was such a different time in our careers and we were really getting a lot of results and in that six year period since we’ve really been through it. have had difficult times and been through a lot together.

“Reflecting on what life was like six years ago and what our partnership looked like back then, we’ve come a long way. “

The on-ice and off-ice couple, who competed in two Olympics together while Bates was also at the Vancouver 2010 Games with his then partner Emily samuelson, has since changed coaches, changed countries, treated Chock’s ankle injury and surgery as well as his concussion – not to mention the ups and downs of the results of competing and navigating the pandemic.

Chock and Bates’ Olympic season free dance program tells the story of an alien and an astronaut who are able to come together despite their differences.

“Of course, if you asked us two years ago, ‘Will you do a galactic alien astronaut program for the Olympics? “We’d probably say, ‘No, what are you talking about,'” Chock said with a laugh. “However, over the past few years, while we were at the Montreal Ice Academy, the coaches have helped us realize that it is more possible than ever. We are able to do so much more than we could ever have dreamed of four years ago, and they have truly allowed us to embrace that creative freedom and embrace who we want to be as athletes and artists on the ice.

“From there came this wonderful intergalactic and star-crossed program that we are so passionate about because not only is it a unique piece of music and a unique story that we tell, but we also have a much deeper message between the two of us. that we hope to pass on to everyone as we play, and that is love and acceptance. I think that can resonate with anyone in any country, and I think when you have the Olympics and such a big platform, it’s a wonderful opportunity when we go out on the ice for share our message and show our love for what we do.

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