US ice dancers win Olympic bronze before retiring | News, Sports, Jobs

By SALLY HO Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — After winning a bronze medal at the Beijing Games, American ice dancers Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue leaned down and kissed the ice where the Olympic rings were painted.

“It was just a moment, I think, for both of us to say goodbye to Olympic ice,” Hubbell said, “and thank this journey that created, you know, the people we are today.”

The longtime American ice dancing flag bearers hugged Monday after their free dance to Anne Sila’s “Drowning” to wrap up their competition. It marked their last Olympic skating and the sweetest end to a decade-long career together that produced two world championship silver medals and the title at the Grand Prix Final.

Their bronze also means the United States has won each of the first three figure skating events at the Beijing Olympics. Hubbell and Donohue were part of the team silver medal before Nathan Chen, cheering them on Monday from a vocal section of American fans in the corner of Capital Indoor Stadium, won the men’s gold.

“To enjoy this new experience at the end of our career is something that we are very, very grateful for,” said Donohue.

That silver medal in last week’s team event – ​​which ice dance fourth-placed Madison Chock and Evan Bates also helped win – could be upgraded to gold if the Russian team is disqualified in a case. of doping.

In retirement, Hubbell and Donohue plan to tour and then start their own figure skating schools.

“We’re both going to start working on building our own schools and coaching and supporting the sport and new athletes and new generations,” Hubbell said.

Chock and Bates broke a personal record with their cutting-edge intergalactic space romance to electronic music by Daft Punk, but were ultimately unable to overcome the deficit in their underwhelming rhythm dance performance.

“It was just a shift in my mindset and I was staying very present in the moment,” Chock said. “And sometimes you just have days that are harder than others, and I accept that.”

Chock and Bates said they haven’t decided on their future in the sport yet.

Olympic gold in ice dancing went to French duo Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, who broke their own world record to win – a feat that narrowly eluded them four years ago at the Pyeongchang Games. Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov from the Russian team won silver.

For Hubbell and Donohue, the fact that their last Olympic performance was on Valentine’s Day was also fitting, as the duo dated for more than two years after starting teaming professionally in 2011. They decided to continue working together after the breakup and now have three Olympic medals to show for after winning team bronze in Pyeongchang.

Hubbell is now engaged to Spanish ice dancer Adrian Diaz. They plan to marry in June. Diaz and her partner, Olivia Smart, placed eighth at the Beijing Games.

American teammates Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker finished 11th.

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