Ice, ice, baby! Team USA’s Olympic figure skating team is packed with talent — making them a strong competitor in every event.
The roster for the 2022 Beijing Games, which kicked off on Friday, February 4, is made up of 16 athletes, who will compete in a variety of disciplines both solo and partnered.
The ice dancers include Jean-Luc Baker, Evan Bates, Zachary Donohue, Kaitlin Hawayek, Madison Hubbell and Madison Chock. The pairs competitors feature Ashley Cain-Gribble, Brandon Frazier, Alexa Knierim and Timothy LeDuc.
The team is rounded out by the women’s singles contenders, including Mariah Bell, Karen Chen and Alysa Liu. The men’s singles lineup features Jason Brown, Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou.
Fans may be familiar with Nathan, 22, who was the one to watch at the 2018 Olympics. While the athlete didn’t make it on the podium in his solo event, he has come to his second Games with even more determination to get the gold.
“Rather than it being a demon, I think it was a helpful learning experience,” the young athlete told reporters after his short program skate on Friday, reflecting on his past performances at the Winter Games.
His return to the Games started with a killer solo skate, which pleased Nathan. “I may not be the most emotional person, but deep down I’m genuinely very happy,” he added.
Ice dance partners Donohue, 31, and Hubbell, 30, for their part, previously announced that they are retiring after the 2021-2022 season making these Olympics their last chance at a medal.
“After 11 years, I’ve probably been my worst self to Zach, out of anybody in my whole life,” Hubbell told reporters in February, reflecting on her highs and lows both romantically and professionally with her partner. ” And he still looks at me and he’s like, ‘It’s fine and I love you and I’ll see you tomorrow.’ And that’s something where it bonds you for life.”
The duo dated for two and a half years during the early days of their partnership but have since formed an even stronger bond both on and off the ice.
“To be able to just look at someone and say ‘I love you,’ in a way that I don’t love other people, is something powerful to admit,” Hubbell, who is now engaged to Spanish ice dancer Adrian Diaz, added. “It’s helped us in the last couple years re-form a new bond and a new friendship. And it’s part of that calm I think that we’re feeling on the ice now with each other. We look at each other and there’s full trust and vulnerability and adoration.”
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