Evan Bates, with partner Madison Chock, is a 2014 Olympian and two-time world medalist in ice dance. Chock and Bates are blogging for TeamUSA.org as they compete on their fifth world team together at the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships in Helsinki.
With worlds officially behind us, Madi and I are pushing on towards PyeongChang. Honestly, this season was not what we had planned or hoped for. We had some truly great moments on the ice this year, but also some disappointing ones.
Our season was highlighted with winning free dances at U.S. Championships and Skate Canada. We also had great skates at the Olympic test event – Four Continents in PyeongChang – and won the bronze medal there. The disappointment came when my twizzle error at worlds ended our medal hopes and left our season-long goals unfulfilled.
Being an elite athlete means experiencing the highs and lows that are inherent to sports and competition. This is part of the job. No one who has spent a lifetime competing can say that it went well every time. There are bound to be failures and disappointments and, in the end, those moments provide the most opportunity to learn and grow.
We are disappointed with the way our season ended. I am personally disappointed to have cost our team a great opportunity. But the support we have received from those around us and the support we have shown each other through the week has affirmed what I already knew: that the bond of our team is unwavering whether we succeed on the ice or not. This is what is actually important, much more so than winning a medal.
Although worlds is the culmination of the 2017 season for most, Madison and I are competing one more time at the World Team Trophy in Tokyo. This will be our fourth team event for the U.S. There are few opportunities in our sport more fulfilling than being part of Team USA and competing for the World Team Trophy. Being a part of a real team and competing not as individuals, but as one unit, gets the patriotism pumping.
We have two weeks before World Team Trophy but in the meantime we are staying busy. After worlds in Helsinki, we were home in Michigan for one day before flying to Colorado Springs to work with our choreographer, Christopher Dean. We created a new show program for our upcoming tour, Stars On Ice, which opens next Thursday. We fly from Colorado to Florida on Saturday to start tour rehearsal.
We have a very busy month of travel upcoming between World Team Trophy in Tokyo and touring with Stars on Ice in the States. We will be returning to Colorado throughout the month to begin work on our Olympic free dance. We have chosen La La Land for our music and are excited to start working on that.
We want to thank everyone for supporting us through the season! It may not have always been exactly what we wanted it to be, but feeling supported no matter the outcome has been the most reassuring thing. In the future, we’ll draw from the lessons learned this year and we’ll be better for it. We are certainly not done competing and have a lot more to give to our sport. We are looking forward to the 2018 season, but first to all of the exciting things we have coming up in the near future.