Like most other sports, figure skating was put on pause back in March. Now the circuit is officially back for the 2020-2021 season, and while things might look a little different — the stands are full of cardboard cutouts, the applause is recorded, and the field was smaller than usual due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions — it did nothing to minimize the magic of the performances we saw at Skate America 2020.
The routine that had us catching our breath was Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue's gorgeous free dance, set to a "Hallelujah" medley by Jeff Buckley and K.D. Lang. The graceful performance flowed beautifully and was filled with difficult elements, five of which received Level 4 classifications, the highest level possible. And fun fact: the pair has actually danced to "Hallelujah" before (back in 2015-2016), and felt compelled to bring the track back this season. "This offseason we looked for different music, but inevitably, we were drawn to the idea of marrying the (Buckley and Lang) versions," Hubbell told teamusa.org. The routine was also choreographed by Scott Moir, the retired Canadian ice dancer who won two Olympic golds with partner Tessa Virtue.
The elegance of every movement, intertwined with the emotional resonance of the music, made this a performance we couldn't take our eyes off of. And the judges apparently agreed; thanks to their score of 126.09 on this routine, Hubbell and Donohue took home the gold medal at Skate America. Watch the artistry for yourself above!