Watch Madison Chock and Evan Bates Perform One of Ice Dancing's Most Difficult Lifts
One of the most mesmerizing parts of ice dancing are the lifts performed by the teams, and three-time Olympians Madison Chock and Evan Bates certainly know how to deliver. At the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, Chock and Bates impressed the crowd and judges alike with their rhythm-dance lift, shown above in a clip from NBC Olympics.
As part of their rhythm dance, which this year is set to a medley of Billie Eilish songs, Chock and Bates are required to complete a single lift element. In ice dance, there's a rule that forbids the lifting partner from raising the other athlete overhead with their arms extended. Instead, ice dance teams create lifts that involve a lot more acrobatics, flips, and changes of position. You can see the intricate details of Chock and Bates's lift in the slow-motion video below, taken at the 2022 US Figure Skating Championships in January.
The element, with all its twists and turns, is known as a curve lift. This means that the lifting partner, Bates, moves in an S-shaped "curve" pattern on the ice during the lift, while Chock's positions vary. She flips almost horizontally around Bates's shoulders, stands up on one leg while balancing on his thigh, then exits the lift with a vertical flip and a brief horizontal rotation. The element has a base value of 5.30, as a level-4 lift — the most difficult classification of lifts. At the Olympics, Chock and Bates performed it with a +1.83 grade of execution (down from +2.29 at the national championships) for a total element score of 7.13 points.
The lift is just one of many high-quality elements that helped secure Chock and Bates a third national title and a spot on their third Olympic team. They're joined in Beijing by US silver medalists Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, who were on the 2018 Olympic team and have also won three national championships. The third team in the American ice-dance delegation are national bronze medalists Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker, who are making their Olympic debut.