Madison Chock and Evan Bates skate in the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships on Feb. 6, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea.
Even an unexpected fall couldn’t stand in the way of ice dancers Madison Chock and Evan Bates defending their gold medal Friday at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Seoul, South Korea.
The multi-trip Olympians weren’t the only Americans to medal following the free dance. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue danced their way to the bronze medal, putting four U.S. skaters on the podium. Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker finished in sixth place.
This is the sixth time medaling at the Four Continents competition for Chock and Bates, who had two silver and two bronze medals before winning for the first time last year.
They started things off on Thursday with a personal best score in the rhythm dance of 85.76 skating to “Too Darn Hot” by Cole Porter, but trailed only by the smallest margin in Four Continents history.
Leading the way by just .19 points were Hubbell and Donohue, who also scored a personal best of 85.95 points with their Marilyn Monroe-themed program.
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It was Chock and Bates’ ever-charming “Egyptian Snake Dance” free dance, however, that allowed them to pass their teammates despite Chock’s uncharacteristic fall. The reigning U.S. champions were able to quickly recover and went on to set a personal best score of 213.18.
Canada’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier also delivered a strong performance skating to “Both Sides Now” by countrywoman Joni Mitchell, and that lifted them to second place with a score of 210.18.
Hubbell and Donohue struggled a bit on the twizzles in their routine to music from “A Star is Born,” which impacted their scores. Still, the 2018 Olympians made up for it in the rest of their elements to earn the bronze medal with a score of 208.72. It was their first time reaching the podium at the event since they won in 2014.
Also contested on Friday was the men’s short program. 2014 Olympic team bronze medalist Jason Brown sits in third place for the United States. The competition continues on Saturday with the women’s and pairs free skates.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic and Paralympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.