There have been silver and bronze medals aplenty for Madison Chock and Evan Bates in the past few years. But that doesn’t mean they plan on settling at the U.S. National Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, California (Jan 3-7).
“I think [winning the national title in this Olympic year] would be a huge deal for us,” Bates said in a media teleconference. “It’s something that we’ve been chasing for a few years now since we won in 2015. I would be lying if I didn’t say there had been some trying moments over the last few seasons.”
After winning the national ice dance title in 2015, they went on to capture silver at the subsequent Four Continents Championships and world championships. The next season, they earned a silver at the Grand Prix Final and silver at 2016 nationals. Then, silver at Four Continents and bronze at 2016 Worlds to close out that season.
In the pre-Olympic season, grabbed four straight silver medals (Nebelhorn Trophy, Nepela Memorial, Skate Canada, and Rostelecom Cup) before qualifying for the Grand Prix Final and finishing sixth in that field. Then, another silver at the 2017 nationals. They earned a bronze at Four Continents – held in 2017 inside the PyeongChang Olympic venue – but finished seventh at the world championships.
Through this fall, they picked up two more silvers on the Grand Prix circuit (Cup of China and Internationaux de France). Then, they placed fifth at the Grand Prix Final.
“If everything had been going swimmingly over the past few seasons, with gold medals galore, I think, through it all, the difficult times created a really beautiful relationship that we now share. Who knows? Maybe it would’ve never happened if everything was going great,” Bates added.
They revealed they started dating about a year ago, admitting it after some ribbing from the reporters.
“Are you asking us if we’re dating?” Chock laughed.
“Are you following us on Instagram?” Bates joked, before confirming they’re together off the ice. According to the ice dance couple, it’s had a positive effect on their on-ice relationship, too.
“I’ve always had great chemistry with [Bates],” Chock said. “We’ve always gotten along so well. Skating together is something that we love doing, and we love doing it together. Now, we’re together on and off the ice and it makes it even more powerful. It feels completely genuine and real. It makes training so much more fun and it brings us closer together every day. We’re working together, working towards the same things. When you’re doing that with someone that you love, it really is so much more meaningful.”