Figure Skating Preview
U.S. Figure Skating looks to build on its 2014 Olympic success and is doing so behind a group of veteran athletes and Olympians, as well as several up-and-comers who hope to earn their spot on the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team. In addition to Meryl Davis and Charlie White becoming the first American ice dancers to become Olympic champions, U.S. figure skaters earned the bronze medal in the inaugural Olympic team event in 2014. MORE
Evan Bates | Ice Dance
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Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Olympic Experience: 2010, 2014
Partner: Madison Chock
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A former singles skater, Evan Bates began competing as an ice dancer with former partner Emily Samuelson in 2000. The duo made its national senior level debut in 2008, and within two years, earned its first Olympic berth at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, where they placed 11th. Following the Vancouver Games, Bates switched partners and teamed with Madison Chock. The Michigan-based duo had a breakout year in 2014, taking silver at the ISU Grand Prix Final and placing ninth at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The following season, they defended their Grand Prix Final silver medal and claimed their first national title at the 2015 U.S. Championships. With two world championship medals to their name – having claimed silver in 2015 and bronze in 2016 – the duo will look to make its second Olympic appearance as a team in PyeongChang.
About Evan
Hidden talent: I play guitar.

Earliest Olympic memory: Watching Michael Johnson run in the 1996 Olympics. I never imagined myself being on that stage. At least not until I reached a very high level in skating and realized it was possible for me, probably 12 years later.

Best advice received: Learn to enjoy the process.
Mariah Bell | Singles
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Hometown: Monument, Colorado
2018 Olympic Hopeful
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Mariah Bell made her international senior-level debut during the 2014-15 season, quickly proving her staying power with an eighth-place finish at the 2015 Skate America grand prix event. She returned the following year to take the silver medal at the same event after earning top scores for her free skate. She is coming off a strong 2017 season that saw her place third at the U.S. championships and make her world championship debut, placing 12th in Helsinki, Finland. Turning her focus to the 2017-18 season, she will look to make her first Olympic appearance in PyeongChang.
About Mariah
Hidden talent: I can ride a unicycle.

Nickname: People I skated with when I was younger called me Baby Bell, because my sister trained at the same place and I am younger then her so they called me the baby of the two bells. But that was just when I was younger.

Earliest memory of sport: I remember waking up early before school to go practice. I was so motivated even at that age to be like the girls I saw on TV!


Jason Brown | Singles
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Hometown: Highland Park, Illinois
Olympic Experience: 2014 (1 bronze)
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Jason Brown burst onto the international scene in 2013, taking silver in his international senior-level debut at the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy. His "Riverdance" free skate performance from the 2014 U.S. Championships garnered more than a million views on YouTube, and aided him to the silver medal along with a ticket to his first Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. While there, Brown helped the U.S. claim bronze in the team event, while also finishing ninth in men's singles. Following the Olympics, Brown won his first U.S. title at the 2015 U.S. Championships. Though injury would lead to a difficult 2015-16 season, he returned the following year to take silver at 2016 Skate America and bronze at the 2017 U.S. Championships. For the 2017-18 season, he will perform his short program to "The Room Where It Happens" from the hit musical Hamilton as he works to qualify for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team.
About Jason
Hidden talent: I am an excellent Heads Up player. I also can juggle and am a decent gymnast.

Something quirky: I starred as Conrad Birdie in Bye Bye Birdie in junior high school.

Earliest Olympic memory: I remember watching Michelle Kwan and Sarah Hughes at the 2002 Games when I was 7 years old. I had been skating for a few years, and I could really appreciate the difficulty of the men's and women's events.
Karen Chen | Singles
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Hometown: Fremont, California
2018 Olympic Hopeful
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For 2017 U.S. national champion Karen Chen, the journey to success began in 2005, when she first learned how to skate. She competed at the 2013 and 2014 U.S. championships at the junior level before earning bronze at the senior level in 2015. She made her senior international debut in September 2015, and earned several top-five finishes throughout the year. Though finishing eighth at the 2016 U.S. Championships, she stunned the crowd in 2017, winning gold and setting a new U.S. record for her short program score. She carried her momentum to the 2017 ISU World Championships, where she solidified her place among the world's elite with a fourth-place finish and helped secure the U.S. women three national quota spots for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. She will now look to return for another strong season in 2017-18 as she seeks to secure one of those spots and her first Olympic berth.
About Karen
Favorite Olympic memory: Watching Yuna Kim win her Olympic title at the 2010 Olympics.

Hobbies: I absolutely love Pilates. I do it pretty much every day.

If not an athlete: I would be either a full time dancer or an artist.
Nathan Chen | Singles
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Hometown: Irvine, California
2018 Olympic Hopeful
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Nathan Chen had an exceptional senior debut, winning the U.S. championship bronze medal in his first domestic senior season. He was poised to compete at both the 2016 world and world junior championships before suffering a late season-ending injury. In the fall of 2016, he burst onto the senior international scene and earned a spot at the 2016 Grand Prix Final, where he recorded the highest scores ever posted by an American man to earn the silver medal. It was the first U.S. men's Grand Prix Final medal since 2009 (Evan Lysacek). In preparation for the 2016-17 season, he turned his focus to improving his program components score, holistic flow, choreography and transitions. The effort paid off as he won the U.S. title after earning the highest scores in U.S. Figure Skating history and becoming the first-ever skater to land seven clean quadruple jumps in competition – and the first to land five quadruple jumps in a free skate. Following a sixth-place finish at the 2017 ISU World Championships, he will look to qualify for his first Olympic team in 2018.
About Nathan
Something quirky: Otters are my favorite animal; spiders are my biggest fear. And I love memes; the Arthur fist meme always gets me.

Best advice received: My parents always enforce the idea of never giving up upon all of my siblings and me, and I think that's something that will stick with me my whole life.

Hobbies: I just picked up photography, and I like to go out to the water or various events and take pictures of my friends and the scenery.
Madison Chock | Ice Dance
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Hometown: Novi, Michigan
Olympic Experience: 2014
Partner: Evan Bates
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PyeongChang Preview
Following a successful skating career at the junior ranks, Madison Chock made her senior-level debut during the 2009-10 season. The following year, she switched from longtime partner Greg Zuerlein and paired with Evan Bates in preparation for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. After posting back-to-back runner-up finishes at the 2013 and 2014 U.S. Championships, the duo was selected to compete at the Sochi Games, marking the first Olympic appearance for Chock and the second for Bates. The Michigan-based pair placed ninth overall in Sochi, setting the foundation for the next two years that would see them claim back-to-back world championship medals – including the silver in 2015 and bronze in 2016. After another top-10 finish at the 2017 ISU World Championships, the duo will look to make a strong run as it seeks its second Olympic berth as a pair in 2018.
About Madison
Hidden talent: I love to draw and sketch.

Earliest Olympic memory: Watching Michelle Kwan on TV and trying to do jumps in the living room. I just loved figure skating and why stop doing something you love.

Something quirky: I'm a goofball. Anyone who knows me can attest.
Zach Donohue | Ice Dance
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Hometown: North Madison, Connecticut
2018 Olympic Hopeful
Partner: Madison Hubbell
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PyeongChang Preview
Zach Donohue, along with his partner Madison Hubbell, has been a member of the U.S. national team since 2012, less than a year after the duo announced their partnership.. Together, they claimed the ISU Four Continents Championship title in 2014, although an injury prevented the pair from competing at the world championships. The duo is currently one of the top-American ice dancing pairs, earning three straight top-10 world championship finishes to go along with three consecutive U.S. championship bronze medals. The pair is currently one of three U.S. ice dance teams to rank among the top five in the world. Following a ninth-place finish at the 2017 ISU World Championships, Donohue and Hubbell will look to secure one of three U.S. national quota spots and qualify for their first Olympic Games in 2018.
About Zach
Something quirky: I do voices. Accents, characters, any odd and annoying sounds. I also have an innate talent for picking up languages.

Hobbies: I love music. Anything to do with music. Writing it, playing it. I still play acoustic although I've played everything from drums to violin, and a few in between. When I'm not jamming out and am in need of some downtime I get on my Xbox and relieve some stress with aggressive video games. I'm also a huge Harley Davidson fan. I cannot wait to get one of my own! Other than that, I love working with my hands. From making furniture, to home projects, to even a cool Lego set.

Earliest Olympic memory: I remember watching the 1998 Games with my family before I ever even stepped on the ice for the first time. At the time, freestyle was what peaked my interest, but even then I found Anissina and Peizrat incredible.

Earliest memory in the sport: My first memory of skating isn't hard to remember. I didn't start until very late. I can remember skating around on my uncle's frozen pond when I was 8 or 9 years old, but I also remember it was a catastrophic failure. I didn't skate again until I was 11, messing around during a public session with my cousin. He told my mom to sign me up for lessons and the rest is history.
Madison Hubbell | Ice Dance
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Hometown: Okemos, Michigan
2018 Olympic hopeful
Partner: Zach Donohue
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PyeongChang Preview
Madison Hubbell, along with her partner Zach Donohue, has been a member of the U.S. national team since 2012, less than a year after the duo announced their partnership. Together, they claimed the ISU Four Continents Championship title in 2014, although an injury prevented the pair from competing at the world championships. The duo is currently one of the top-American ice dancing pairs, earning three straight top-10 world championship finishes to go along with three consecutive U.S. championship bronze medals. The pair is currently one of three U.S. ice dance teams to rank among the top five in the world. Following a ninth-place finish at the 2017 ISU World Championships, Donohue and Hubbell will look to secure one of three U.S. national quota spots and qualify for their first Olympic Games in 2018.
About Madison
Something quirky: I am dorky and grew up wanting to be one of the guys so that I could fit in with the boys. Now, I still love to hang out with my brothers, but I have also embraced my girly side quite a bit.

Nickname(s): My name on social media is Splash Madison, since my parents got the idea for my name from the movie Splash.

Best advice received: Be grateful.

Earliest Olympic memory: I remember sitting in my rink watching the 2006 Olympic Games with Evan Bates, who was my training mate at the time. The U.S. team of Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto won the silver medal. My Olympic dream became very real to me in that moment.

Earliest memory of sport: I watched Kristi Yamaguchi when I was a little girl and I begged my mom to skate. I thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world. I had the illusion that if I skated, and wore my hair in a bun, that I would look like her. I had tried several things, including soccer and ballet as a child and I always complained. Skating was the only sport that I was always excited about practicing.

Chris Knierim | Pairs
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Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado
2018 Olympic hopeful
Partner: Alexa Scimeca Knierim
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PyeongChang Preview
Chris Knierim began skating with partner Alexa Scimeca in 2012, and the pair married in 2016. The husband-wife duo won gold at their first international event, the 2012 Coupe de Nice, and then skated to a silver medal at the 2013 U.S. Championships. In 2015, they won their first national title and earned American-record scores after becoming the first-ever U.S. pairs team to complete a quadruple twist in competition. In April 2016, Scimeca was diagnosed with a life-threatening gastrointestinal condition and underwent multiple abdominal surgeries, leaving the team sidelined for much of the 2016-17 season. Despite the condensed season, the duo returned to earn a top-10 finish at the 2017 ISU World Championships, becoming the first U.S. pair to do so in the last five years. Seeking their first Olympic appearance, the duo will look to make a strong comeback and secure Team USA's one quota spot to compete at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang.
About Chris
Something quirky: Seems like I collect car parts these days. Usually I work on a car to unwind after a competition.

Hobbies: Fishing, hiking, working on cars, shooting and archery.

If I wasn't an athlete: I would be a mechanic.
Mirai Nagasu | Singles
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Hometown: Arcadia, California
Olympic Experience: 2010
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Mirai Nagasu burst onto the senior circuit in 2008, winning the women's U.S. national title at just 14 years old. In doing so, she became the youngest woman since 1997 to win the U.S. title and the first since 1938 to win back-to-back junior and senior national titles. In only her second season competing at the international senior level, she made her Olympic debut at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, where she placed fourth. Since narrowly missing a spot on the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team, she has consistently posted top-five results in both domestic and international competitions. Following back-to-back fourth-place U.S. championship finishes in 2016 and 2017, she will look to make a run for her second Olympic appearance in PyeongChang.
About Mirai
Hidden talent: I can snap my toes.

Earliest Olympic memory: Definitely watching Michelle Kwan be amazing in Nagano. She was and is my role model.

Best advice received: K.I.S.S. - Keep it simple sweetie.
Adam Rippon | Singles
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Hometown: Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania
2018 Olympic Hopeful
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PyeongChang Preview
Having competed at the senior level for nearly a decade, Adam Rippon won his first U.S. national title in 2016 and later that year qualified for his first ISU Grand Prix Final. After serving as an alternate for Team USA at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the two-time junior world champion (2008, 2009) will look to make his official Olympic debut in 2018. An ankle injury kept him sidelined for most of the 2016-17 season, but he is focused on making a strong comeback for the 2017-18 season as he seeks to earn one of three U.S. quota spots for the PyeongChang Olympics.
About Adam
Earliest Olympic memory: I remember my mom let me stay up late and watch Tara Lipinski and Michelle Kwan compete in the 1998 Olympic Games. I made paper medals and wore them the whole night. I didn't start skating until 2000 but I was so inspired by their skating that it was why I wanted to start.

Best advice received: Stay true to yourself, trust your gut, and never worry about what others will think.

Nickname: Some of my friends call me Ripp, and I kind of love it.
Alexa Scimeca Knierim | Pairs
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Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado
2018 Olympic hopeful
Partner: Chris Knierim
Full Bio
PyeongChang Preview
Alexa Scimeca began skating with partner Chris Knierim in 2012, and the pair married in 2016. The husband-wife duo won gold at their first international event, the 2012 Coupe de Nice, and then skated to a silver medal at the 2013 U.S. Championships. In 2015, they won their first national title and earned American-record scores after becoming the first-ever U.S. pairs team to complete a quadruple twist in competition. In April 2016, Scimeca was diagnosed with a life-threatening gastrointestinal condition and underwent multiple abdominal surgeries, leaving the team sidelined for much of the 2016-17 season. Despite the condensed season, the duo returned to earn a top-10 finish at the 2017 ISU World Championships, becoming the first U.S. pair to do so in the last five years. Seeking their first Olympic appearance, the duo will look to make a strong comeback and secure Team USA's one quota spot to compete at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang.
About Alexa
Hidden talent: I can do a lot of things with my face: move both eyebrows; move my nose and nostrils; and move my ears.

Earliest Olympic memory: I remember sitting on my living room floor watching Sasha Cohen compete. I was so nervous for her. I always dreamed about going to the Olympics and being like Sasha.

Nicknames: Starr, but only my mom calls me that. My friends call me Lex, sometimes.
Alex Shibutani | Ice Dance
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Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Olympic Experience: 2014
Partner: Maia Shibutani
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Alex Shibutani began competing with his younger sister and partner, Alex Shibutani, in 2004. The sibling duo made its senior-level debut during the 2010-11 season and quickly left its mark on the international stage, claiming bronze medals at both the 2010 NHK Trophy and 2011 ISU World Championships. Another bronze-medal finish at the 2014 U.S. Championships punched their ticket to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, where they placed ninth in their Olympic debut. After five consecutive years on the national podium, the sibling ice dance team won its first U.S. title in 2016, which it defended a year later. The duo won its third world championships medal, a bronze, in 2017 and will look to mine for more hardware as it seeks its second Olympic appearance in 2018.
About Alex
Earliest memory of sport: Watching competitions on television with my family during the weekend. As we had just started skating, it was always inspiring to watch the skaters we looked up to perform and compete. It gave us a glimpse into a life we could have if we worked hard.

Hobbies: I really enjoy photography and making videos. Being able to create something (a story or just document memories) even when I'm off the ice is something that I really value. I also love watching sports and films.

Favorite sports team: I was born in Boston, so I support all of the professional sports teams there. I'm a big Bruins and Patriots fan and I really like watching their games. Since the 2014 Olympics, I've become friends with Zdeno Chara of the Bruins. He's a great athlete and a classy guy.
Maia Shibutani | Ice Dance
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Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Olympic Experience: 2014
Partner: Alex Shibutani
Full Bio
PyeongChang Preview
Maia Shibutani began competing with her older brother and partner, Alex Shibutani, in 2004. The sibling duo made its senior-level debut during the 2010-11 season and quickly left its mark on the international stage, claiming bronze medals at both the 2010 NHK Trophy and 2011 ISU World Championships. Another bronze-medal finish at the 2014 U.S. Championships punched their ticket to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, where they placed ninth in their Olympic debut. After five consecutive years on the national podium, the sibling ice dance team won its first U.S. title in 2016, which it defended a year later. The duo won its third world championships medal, a bronze, in 2017 and will look to mine for more hardware as it seeks its second Olympic appearance in 2018.
About Maia
Earliest memory of sport: I remember being in a group lesson when I was 4, and waiting for the other kids to make it across the ice. I was having so much fun that I told the coach that I didn't want to wait anymore. I just wanted to keep skating.

Hobbies: I enjoy figuring out how to tell stories and share experiences. It makes me happy to make other people happy. Whether it's cooking a meal for someone or figuring out how to bring a group of people together, that is fulfilling to me.

Nickname: Alex and I are known throughout skating as the ShibSibs. It is a combination of our last name and the word "siblings."
Ashley Wagner | Singles
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Hometown: Alexandria, Virginia
Olympic Experience: 2014 (1 bronze)
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A three-time U.S. champion, Ashley Wagner was a member of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team that won bronze in the inaugural Olympic team event while also placing seventh individually in Sochi. Since making her Olympic debut, she won her third U.S. title in 2015 and claimed the silver medal at the 2016 ISU World Championships. After another strong season that saw her finish second at nationals and seventh at the world championships in 2017, she will look to carry her momentum into the 2017-18 season and earn her second Olympic berth in PyeongChang.
About Ashley
Hidden talent: I can speak gibberish. I'm very good at raising my eyebrows, and I'm a salsa-dancing fiend.

Something quirky: I can be very extroverted on the spot, but in reality I'm very much an introvert.

Earliest Olympic memory: I remember watching Tara Lipinski win her gold medal in Nagano, looking at my mom and telling her that was going to be me one day.
Vincent Zhou | Singles
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Hometown: Palo Alto, California
2018 Olympic hopeful
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Vincent Zhou made quite the impact prior to his senior-level debut, winning three different national titles as different levels over the course of three seasons – he was the 2011 U.S. intermediate champion, the 2012 U.S. novice champion and the 2013 U.S. junior champion. At the time, he was the youngest U.S. intermediate champion and the youngest U.S. junior champion. After being sidelined with an injury, Zhou made his junior Grand Prix debut during the 2015-16 season, claiming two silver medals and placing fourth at the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final. He made his senior international debut during the 2016-17 season, winning his first international title at the 2017 Bavarian Open. He capped last season by taking second at the U.S. Championships and claiming his first world junior title. He will look to carry that momentum as he seeks his first Olympic berth in 2018.
About Vincent
Hidden talent: I like to write poetry sometimes when I'm feeling extra sentimental or worldly.

Something quirky: I have a habit of saving my favorite things to eat for last--for example, my mom cooks seafood soup for me and I save all the scallops for last. But then, I often end up being too full to eat them!

Best advice received: My father told me that it is okay to see other people's issues and negative behavior, but if you react and also show negative behavior, the issues also become yours.
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