Ice dancers Madison Chock and Evan Bates – a couple on and off the ice – were chosen as co-captains of the U.S. squad for figure skating’s team event at the 2022 Winter Olympics, so it’s only fitting they get to compete as part of the team.
Chock and Bates’ time finally arrives (emphasis on finally, but more on this to come) Sunday night as they were announced by U.S. Figure Skating as the team’s entry for the free dance.
They are joined representing the red, white and blue on the third and final day of the team event by Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier, who will begin the night in the pairs free skate, and Karen Chen, who ends the team event in the women’s free skate.
Watch live at 8 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC, NBCOlympics.com or Peacock.
Chen and Knierim/Frazier represented Team USA in their short programs, while Chock/Bates switch out in ice dance for Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue who won the rhythm dance.
Sunday night marks not only the debut of Chock and Bates at these Games but also their debut in any Olympic team event.
The 2014 Sochi Games marked the Olympic debut of both the team event and Chock and Bates (as a team; Bates also competed in Vancouver in 2010), but they were passed over for a spot on the U.S. team in both 2014 (to Meryl Davis and Charlie White) and 2018 (to Maia and Alex Shibutani).
Chock and Bates are ready now, though, as the 2022 U.S. champions and 2021 world fourth-place finishers, and they’ll attempt to match the win Hubbell and Donohue earned earlier in the Games.
Their toughest competition comes from the Russian Olympic Committee's Viktoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov, the reigning ice dance world champions who were second in the rhythm dance.
Knierim and Frazier also look to continue their own momentum. They were third in the pairs short, behind world and Olympic medalists. Knierim and Frazier will once again face the 2021 world champions Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov of the ROC, plus Canada's Vanessa James and Eric Radford, who teamed up less than a year ago (and just had a significant collision in practice) after she had won European Championships with Morgan Cipres for France and he had won two world titles and 2018 Olympic bronze with Meagan Duhamel.
Chen was fifth in the short program. The women's free once more features the ROC's 15-year-old star Kamila Valieva, whose team event short included a triple axel.
The pairs free skate begins at 8:15 p.m. ET, followed by the free dance at 9:30 and finally women's free skate at 10:35.
Heading into the final night, the ROC leads with 45 points, followed by the U.S. (42) and Japan (39). At this point, Canada (30) and China (29) are vying for fourth.
Final Figure Skating Team Event Entries
For the third and last day of the Olympic figure skating team event, the entries and start orders are as follows:
Pairs: James/Radford (CAN), Riku Miura/Ryuichi Kihara (JPN), Knierim/Frazier (USA), Mishina/Galliamov (ROC), Peng Cheng/Jin Yang
Ice Dance: Misato Komatsubara/Tim Koleto (JPN), Wang Shiyue/Liu Xinyu (CHN), Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN), Sinitsina/Katsalapov (ROC), Chock/Bates (USA)
Women's: Zhu Yi (CHN), Chen (USA), Madeline Schizas (CAN), Kaori Sakamoto (JPN), Valieva (ROC)