Madison Chock, Evan Bates extend U.S. ice dance streak to 15 years at Skate America
World champions Madison Chock and Evan Bates won their fourth Skate America ice dance title and a 15th in a row for U.S. couples overall at the event.
Chock and Bates, who led after Saturday’s rhythm dance by 7.07 points, also had the highest free dance score Sunday to win by 15.97 overall.
It’s the largest Skate America ice dance margin of victory in a decade.
They prevailed after Chock fell at the end of a lift in practice Saturday morning, about six and a half hours before their rhythm dance. Bates said after the rhythm dance that they both felt OK.
U.S. couples won every Skate America ice dance title dating to 2009.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue also won four titles each. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani won two. Tanith White and Ben Agosto started the streak.
This year’s field lacked the rest of the top five from March’s worlds, where Chock and Bates became the oldest world champions in ice dance history.
The top six couples over the six-event fall Grand Prix Series, which began with Skate America, gather at December’s Grand Prix Final.
France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, the Olympic gold medalists, are on an indefinite break and last competed at the March 2022 World Championships.
Chock, 31, and Bates, 34, the oldest world champions in ice dance history, repeated Sunday that they’re not yet fully committed to a 2026 Olympic run.
Last year, they finished fourth at the Games and helped the U.S. to a second-place finish in the Olympic team event, which could be upgraded to gold pending the Russian Kamila Valiyeva doping case.
“It’s on the horizon,” Bates said of the 2026 Milan-Cortina Games. “But we’re not getting ahead of ourselves. We’re taking it year by year. But of course the ultimate goal is always to be back at the Olympic Games.”
Later Sunday, Amber Glenn became the sixth U.S. woman to land a triple Axel in competition.
Belgian Loena Hendrickx won the women’s event. More on that event here.