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 go for their third straight world medal at the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships in Helsinki.
Thursday, March 30
We’ve been doing a lot of waiting here at the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships. Ice dance is the last event to start. The pairs event finished today, and we still don’t even start our competition until tomorrow!
We’ve had just one practice per day here in Helsinki. That's given us a lot of time to watch the other events and cheer on the rest of Team USA.
We had our draw for the short dance today. Madi drew 32nd, last to skate, which is a position we like. Then we stayed at the arena to watch our men in the short program. Nathan and Jason both brought it with stellar performances.
Later in the evening, we watched from the hotel as our top American pair, Alexa and Chris Knierim, gave an inspiring performance after a season wrought with setbacks and injury. We went to bed feeling inspired by our teammates and ready to get our own competition under way.
Friday, March 31
The ice dance competition finally started today. We had an early morning practice in the main rink. It was great to get back on the main ice surface. We hadn’t practiced there since Tuesday. During the week we’ve been skating in the practice rink, which has been dubbed, “The Cave”. It is quite fitting. We take the elevator down to floor 2. Obviously, the rink is underground and it looks like they carved just enough space to fit an ice rink.
We had a good practice and returned to the hotel for a quick rest before the competition. We had about two hours before Madi and I went to lunch and then returned to Hartwall Arena for the main event.
Hartwall Arena holds more than 13,000 fans and was nearly full for today’s short dance. The crowd was very enthusiastic and we fed off their energy for our own performance. For our short dance, we skate to “Bad to the Bone” and “Uptown Funk.” Within the first 20 seconds of “Bad to the Bone,” I could hear the crowd getting loud. By the time “Uptown Funk” came on, it was almost hard to contain our excitement. As we finished the last steps of the program, we were having a blast and loving every second of it. Once we hit the ending pose, we were overwhelmed by the crowd’s standing ovation. We looked into the audience as we bowed and saw American flags flying throughout. It was probably the last time we will perform this program and we were thrilled with how it went.
We are currently in fourth place in a very tight competition. Tomorrow, we will compete our free dance, which is set to “Under Pressure” by David Bowie and Queen. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, but first, a good night’s sleep.