Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Madison Chock & Evan Bates Team Up

 Isn't it rich? Are they a pair? After all the recent splits in pairs skating and ice dance in the US and world-wide, a new team has emerged. Though USFSA hasn't made an official announcement, Jo Ann Barnes of the Detroit Free Press announced this morning in an article that Madison Chock (formerly with Greg Zuerlein who retired) has teamed with Evan Bates (formerly with Emily Samuelson with whom he split for unknown reasons). One thing this team has going for them is that both, with there former partners, trained with Zoueva & Shpilband in Canton, MI so no moves or coaching changes are in order. Igor Shpilband commented earlier this week that Madison had tryouts with several other ice dancers and I'd love to know who they were. I haven't had a lot of time to process this new pairing but here are my initial thoughts:

1) The height difference: Madison is 5'1" and Evan is 6'2" which would be great in pairs but may be awkward in the close holds of ice dancing. On the flip side, this could make for some impressive lifts, which Madison lacked with the much shorter Zuerlein.
2) Injuries: Is Evan truly healed from his achilles injury? I initially suspected the reason he split from Emily was that he was not yet ready to compete, though this new pairing would suggest that he is.
3) Style: Though Madison is a beautiful skater, she doesn't have the long clean lines of Emily Samuelson, which was one of the things that made her a great match for Evan. On the other side, Madison is incredibly expressive, even to the point of chewing scenery, while Evan is a bit more reserved as a performer.
4) Status: Oddly enough many expected Chock/Zuerlein & Samuelson/Bates to compete for the 3rd slot in the US behind Davis/White & Shibutani/Shibutani. Since the two teams split and re-teamed, if they can mesh well by January, they are almost guaranteed that 3rd spot on the US podium and a bid to Worlds. USA also has 2 host picks left for Skate America and this team will more than likely get one of them.

1 comment:

  1. To me they are an ODD COUPLE due to height and also the style issues. I was shocked by both splits with their former partners whom they skated with for so many years. Not sure what to expect from Chock/Bates. Also feel the same about Samuelson's new partnership.

    I had such great regard and hopes for US Ice Dancing's future based on the previous pairings of these kids. Now not so sure. US Ice Dancing is plagued by a pattern of pair breaking up for petty reasons. I hate that "tradition".