Columbus, January 27, 2024, The Europe Today: Despite battling illnesses, Madison Chock and Evan Bates showcased exceptional resilience and determination to secure their fifth ice dance title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday.
The duo demonstrated their mastery in the rhythm dance, earning a remarkable score of 92.17, securing the top spot in that segment. In the free dance, they notched a score of 123.75, allowing them to finish first overall.
Both Chock and Bates, facing the challenges of what appeared to be a 24-hour flu, were undeterred as they took to the ice, recognizing that this could potentially be their last national championship. With Chock at 31 and Bates at 34, the question of whether they will compete in the 2026 Olympics remains unanswered.
Reflecting on the decision to compete despite their health concerns, Chock expressed, “When we were contemplating whether or not we should skate, it went through my mind, ‘What if this is it? What if at the end of the year we feel complete, but we didn’t get to skate the whole U.S. championship?’ Would we regret that decision? I think that would have been a yes. So we thought if this is our last (national) championship, then we would go out knowing that we skated and we did our best and we fought through it.”
Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko delivered a stunning performance in the free dance, earning a score of 126.85. However, they secured second place overall due to an 83.19 in the rhythm dance. Caroline Green and Michael Parsons claimed the third spot with a combined score of 193.83.
In the free skate competition, Ellie Kam and Danny O’Shea secured the gold with an impressive 64.57 in the short program and a 123.19 in the free skate, resulting in a combined score of 187.76.