Madison Chock and Evan Bates competed together at the 2014 Olympics, where they finished eighth. The Novi, Michigan-based ice dancers say that although they’ve won a lot of silver medals, that doesn’t tell their whole story. Instead, they’re aiming toward peaking at the perfect time.
Figure skating beginnings
Chock was born July 2, 1992 in Torrance, Calif. She began skating at age 5 – as a singles skater – and moved to ice dance at age 12. With former partner Greg Zuerlein, she won a world junior title in 2009. She teamed up with Bates and debuted in the 2011-2012 season, making them a relatively young team, considering many of their rival couples have been together for nearly a decade, sometimes more.
Bates was born February 23, 1989 in Ann Arbor, Mich. and began skating at age 4, when he followed his sister Alexis into the sport. He was a singles skater until he reached the junior level, when he committed to ice dance. In 2008, he won a world junior title with former partner Emily Samuelson. Samuelson and Bates went on to compete at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, where they finished 11th. After sitting out a season due to injury, they split up, and Chock became his new partner.
Major competitions/ medals
From 2014 to 2017, Chock and Bates won one gold medal and three silvers at the U.S. National Championships. They’ve also won three medals at the Four Continents Championships between 2015 and 2017.
They’ve also been a force on the world stage. At the exclusive Grand Prix Final, they earned two silver medals; at the most recent world championships, Chock and Bates won a silver in 2015, bronze in 2016 and were seventh in 2017.
Chock describes her breakthrough moment, which came before teaming up with Bates: I think when I won Junior Worlds with my previous partner I really saw a future for myself in the sport.
Bates describes his breakthrough moment: Winning Junior Worlds in 2008 [with a previous partner] and realizing I had a realistic chance to make the Olympic team two years later in 2010.
Chock and Bates teamed up in July 2011, making them the youngest partnership of the three ice dance teams who represented the United States at the 2017 World Championships. Maia and Alex Shibutani officially began ice dancing together in 2004, while Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue started together in the spring of 2011.
“[Chock] brings a lot of light to my life. We spend almost all of our time together and yet I never grow tired of her. She has a great, light sense of humor and a very happy outlook on life.” – Evan Bates
“Maddie and Evan’s greatest strength is their ability to attack anything they’re given, any choreography, lift, movement.” – said 2014 Olympic ice dance champion Charlie White
Together, Chock and Bates competed at the 2014 Sochi Games and finished eighth. Bates also competed at the 2010 Olympics with a different partner, and they finished 11th.
Outside the rink
Chock’s full name is Madison La’akea Te-Lan Hall Chock. La-akea means “sacred light from heaven” and Te-Lan means “special or unique orchid.” The sixth-generation Californian loves traveling, especially to visit her dad’s family in Hawaii.
Chock designs the team’s costumes. Once her training sessions are over on Thursdays and Fridays, Chock coaches some athletes at her rink in Novi, Michigan. She says her toy poodle Henry is “full of love and energy! He brings so much joy to everyone he meets.”
Bates graduated from the University of Michigan in December 2013 with a degree in organizational studies. He also has a poodle named Stella, who is, as he says, “amazing. It’s great to have somebody waiting for you at the door when you get home from the rink.”
Twice a week, Bates works as an online English tutor for students in China.
Facebook: Madison Chock and Evan Bates on Facebook