The 2022 Winter Olympics sets off in Beijing, China, next month, and Michigan is going to be well represented at the big games. After all, Michigan’s climate is conducive to winter sports, so it’s only appropriate that we have some athletes at the winter games.
When the U.S. ice dancing teams hit the ice at next month’s competitions, all three of U.S. teams will feature skaters with Michigan ties.
The final three teams of ice dancers were selected to represent Team USA in Beijing over the weekend. Those teams are Madison Chock and Evan Bates; Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue; and Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker.
It was a close competition, as Chock and Bates inched ahead of Hubbell and Donohue to score the top spot on Team USA. In the process, Chock and Bates scored their third national figure skating championship. Both teams are winners, though, as they both snagged career-best scores and will compete in Beijing.
Bates, an Ann Arbor native, will appear at the Olympics for the fourth time. He’s actually the first U.S. figure skater to ever compete in four games. Chock and Bates will appear at the Olympics as an ice dance team for the third time.
So, what are the ties to Michigan? Chock and Bates once trained at the Novi Ice Arena. Following the 2018 Olympics, they switched locales to Montreal.
Hubbel and Donahue once trained at the Detroit Skating Club. They also moved to Montreal for training, leaving in 2015. Hubbell is actually from Lansing, Michigan, to boot.
Hawayek and Baker, who will be appearing at the Olympics for the first time in Bejing, also trained at the Detroit Skating Club. They, too, moved to Montreal to train. They scored bronze at last weekend’s national championships.
The same coaches in Montreal train Chock, Bates, Hubbel and Donahue. Back at the 2018 Olympics, Hubbel and Donahue just missed a bronze medal, coming in fourth place.