U.S. ice dancers Madison Chock and Evan Bates are two-time World medalists (silver in 2015, bronze in 2016), two-time Grand Prix Final silver medalists (2014–15, 2015–16), the 2019 Four Continents champions, and the 2015 U.S. national champions. At Finlandia Trophy, which took place in Espoo last week, they placed first both in the rhythm dance and in the free dance to win the gold medal with 198,26 points.
After the free dance, Madison and Evan commented on their performance.
Are you satisfied with your performance here in Finland?
Yes, it’s been a fun weekend. We got to compete our programs again, and we’re very happy with how the free skate went today. It felt like a very good performance, very engaged with each other and the audience, so we’re very happy to put on a good skate and head to the Grand Prix soon.
Olivia Smart and Adrian Diaz paired up in 2015 and have since won silver at the 2017 Spanish Championships, their first national title at 2018 Spanish Championships, and bronze at 2018 Skate Canada International. Last week, they took 5th place at Nebelhorn Trophy, which was held in Oberstdorf, Germany. After the free dance, Olivia and Adrian commented on their performance.
Adrian: It was a little bit of everything. We made a few mistakes. They probably cost us a lot of GOE, some of them – levels. But then the other elements were really good, so it was a bit of a roller coaster.
Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons are a sibling ice dancing team that paired up in 2010. Together, they are the 2017 World Junior champions, the 2016-17 JGP Final champions, and five-time US junior medalists . At the Internationaux de France in Grenoble 2018 they came fifth with 171.17 points ahead of Marie-Jade Lauriault/Romain LeGac (FRA) on 170.64.
We’re really happy with how we skated in the short dance. To be honest, we didn’t get the score that we wanted – we felt like we skated better here than in Japan, but ended up with the lower score. In Japan, we said our main priority is to improve the levels going into France and we got higher levels this time, we got better key points and better footwork levels. So, we’re feeling pretty good.
At the end of the day, we’re competing against ourselves as our main priority, and I feel like this was a good step forward in terms of levels and in terms of expression.
As for our free dance, I think that that wasn’t the best program we could have put out, but it was clean, which is what we were trying to do.
Speaking of free dance, we fixed some levels and we lost some levels, so I can’t say that we had a net gain. I don’t think our energy level was where we wanted it to be today. But it was still a clean skate and it was really fun to skate in front of this crowd here in France, so we’re really happy about that.
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