America Champion US

Madison Chock and Evan Bates capitalized on their triumphant performance at Skate America last year to propel themselves to their inaugural world championship. Their recent victory on Sunday may serve as a similar catalyst for their potential journey to the 2026 Milano Cortina Olympics.

While yet to make a definitive commitment to pursuing their careers through to the next Winter Games in Italy, these accomplished American ice dancers have unmistakably reaffirmed their status as one of the world’s elite pairs.

Chock and Bates delivered a remarkable score of 212.96 points at the Grand Prix season’s inaugural event, securing their fourth Skate America title with ease at the Credit Union of Texas Event Center in Allen, Texas.

Their score this season exceeded their previous year’s total by more than 10 points. Considering the typical trend of scores increasing as routines are fine-tuned throughout the season, Chock and Bates may likely surpass their world record shortly.

Skate America holds a unique place in our hearts as a Grand Prix event, primarily because it offers us the incredible opportunity to perform in front of a hometown crowd, which is an exceptional and enjoyable experience,” Chock expressed following their free skate, accompanied by the enchanting melodies of Pink Floyd’s

“The Dark Side of the Moon.”

It’s particularly heartwarming to have our parents in the audience,” she continued. “The ability to glance out and catch a glimpse of them is truly a remarkable aspect of the competition.”

In second place were Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha, the Canadian silver medalists, who amassed 196.99 points – marking their best performance at a Grand Prix event. Their routine featured a breathtaking rotational lift, perfectly synchronized with the crescendo of their music, which left a lasting impression.

The French country wide champions, Evgeniia Lopareva and Geoffrey Brissaud secured the 1/3 function with a complete of 193.forty seven points.

Lagha expressed their joy, saying,

“We’re thrilled. We both felt quite nervous beforehand, but in moments of intense pressure, we realized the importance of connecting and immersing ourselves in our performance as if there was nothing else in the world but the two of us.

Break My Soul

In the women’s competition, Loena Hendrickx from Belgium delivered a captivating performance to a remix of Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul,” amassing 221.28 points to secure the top spot. U.S. standout Isabeau Levito, despite a challenging short program, displayed remarkable resilience and clinched the silver medal.

Notably, Nina Petrokina made history as the first skater from Estonia to earn an award in the senior Grand Prix circuit, earning the bronze.

Amber Glenn, who held the second position following her short program, accomplished a remarkable feat by becoming the sixth American woman to successfully execute a triple axel in competition as her opening jump.

However, despite her initial success, she grappled with exhaustion towards the end of her routine, resulting in unfortunate falls on her final three jumps and ultimately placing her outside the medal rankings.

Chock and Bates demonstrated a commanding presence at Skate America, starting with their impressive mashup of Queen songs during their rhythm dance.

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This performance gave them a substantial lead as they entered the free dance segment.

Their free dance routine was a mesmerizing display of passion and precision, leaving the sizable audience in attendance on the edge of their seats during the final day of the competition.

Commencing with their distinctive stationary lift and continuing through their impressive straight-line rush towards the conclusion of the routine – a moment where he held her aloft with hands solely on her skate and shin – this real-life couple radiated confidence and charisma.

This win marked the 19th time in the last 21 years that a U.S. team has claimed the Skate America title, a testament to their continued excellence in the competition.

Furthermore, this victory has brought forth a significant question that will likely linger around Chock and Bates in the coming years.

After their vital contribution to the U.S. team’s medal success at the Beijing Olympics, albeit narrowly missing a podium finish in the ice dance competition themselves, the inquiry remains as to whether the 31-year-old Chock and the 34-year-old Bates will retain the motivation to compete through to the next Winter Olympics.

We acknowledge that it’s on the horizon, but we’re not jumping ahead of ourselves,” stated Bates. He and Chock are still awaiting their team medals due to the ongoing investigation into doping concerns related to one of the Russian skaters at the Beijing Olympics.

“We’re approaching it one year at a time,” Bates continued. “However, the overarching aspiration remains to return to the Olympic Games.”

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