We Can't Stop Watching Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue's Best Ice Dance Performances

If you've been watching figure skating at all over the last few years, you've probably seen a program from Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue. The American ice dancers are three-time world medalists, three-time national champions, and 2018 Olympians looking to make a second trip to the Olympics for the Beijing Games in 2022.

Over the years, Hubbell and Donohue have become as well known for their deeply felt, emotional style as their technical prowess, making them fan favorites as well as podium regulars. That style, plus their habit of choosing popular music, has resulted in plenty of memorable moments on the ice.

After a decade-long career together, Hubbell and Donohue have revealed that this season will be their last before they retire. As they aim for the Olympics and make every competition count, we're looking back at some of the best performances they've ever had. Keep reading to check out their career highlights!

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2011 Skate America Short Dance — Latin Medley

The Skate America competition in the fall of 2011 is comparatively just a shadow of what Hubbell and Donohue would become in their decade-long partnership. This particular performance, however, is worth watching for one big reason: it's their first major competition together. Prior to the 2011-2012 season, Hubbell skated with her brother, Keiffer, while Donohue had brief partnerships with Piper Gilles — who went on to become an Olympian for Canada with partner Paul Poirier — and Alissandra Aronow.

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2013 US Championships Free Dance — Malagueña

After a couple of seasons together, Hubbell and Donohue really started to gel and find their style as performers. Their free dance at the 2013 national championships, a paso-inspired "Malagueña" program, put their chemistry on full display. Although they finished just off the podium in fourth place, the program was one of the more underrated of their careers and foreshadowed some of their strengths — intense chemistry, powerful movements, and presence — that would carry them in later years.

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2015 Trophée Éric Bompard Short Dance — "Hallelujah"

If you ask most skating fans to pinpoint the moment that made them sit up and really take notice of Hubbell and Donohue, they'll probably point to their short dance from the 2015-2016 season. The year's required rhythm and pattern for the short dance was a waltz, which the pair put a modern spin on with a program to k.d. lang's version of "Hallelujah." Lyrical, graceful, and emotional, it's the first real glimpse of what would become their signature style.

On the strength of this short dance alone — the event was halted halfway through due to the November 2015 Paris terror attacks — Hubbell and Donohue won their first gold medal on the Grand Prix circuit.

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2016 Grand Prix Final Free Dance — Love Medley

After their breakout season, Hubbell and Donohue continued leaning into the lyrical, romantic style that suited them so well. This time, they arranged a medley that featured Bootstraps's slowed-down cover of "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" and Ingrid Michaelson's version of "Can't Help Falling in Love." The program itself balanced between tender, yearning details and incredible moments of athleticism. (See their elegant, acrobatic lifts.)

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2018 US Nationals Free Dance — "Caught Out in the Rain"

After years of being second- or third-best in the country, Hubbell and Donohue finally became national champions — and in an Olympic year, no less! It's largely thanks to their strong performance with this free dance, set mostly to Beth Hart's "Caught Out in the Rain." With intricate footwork, striking lifts, and white-hot chemistry, it's a more grown-up version of their go-to lyrical style and earned them their first national title and their first trip to the Olympics.

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2018 US Championship Gala — "The Blower's Daughter"

There's always been a touch of indie vibes to Hubbell and Donohue's style of skating, especially with their contemporary style and music choices. For their exhibition program in 2018, they chose "The Blower's Daughter," a folk-tinged song by Irish musician Damien Rice. It's a perfect example of all the things that elevated them to the top of the podium: graceful choreography paired with an intensely emotional connection.

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2018 Olympics Short Dance — Samba and Rhumba

For the 2018 Olympic year, the required ice-dance patterns were Latin-inspired, which played right into Hubbell and Donohue's wheelhouse. In their Olympic debut, they made a strong case for a bronze medal, landing in third after this fun, sassy short dance. Although a slip during the free dance sent them off the podium and into fourth overall, this short dance was definitely an Olympic highlight.

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2021 World Championships Short Dance — "Burlesque"

After a disappointing 2019-2020 season with two programs that never quite gelled, Hubbell and Donohue bounced back for the 2020-2021 season with performances that played to their strengths. They honed their Burlesque-themed rhythm dance all season, culminating in a second-place finish in the segment at the World Championships. Sleek and sexy, the program hits all the right notes.

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2021 World Championships Free Dance — "Hallelujah"

Five seasons after a "Hallelujah" program proved to be their breakthrough, Hubbell and Donohue revisited the song and reworked it into an elegant, powerful free dance. The program, which combined both the k.d. lang version of the song they used before with the Jeff Buckley version, helped them reclaim their national title and earn another silver medal at the World Championships.

According to the team, it's always been a special song for them. "We felt really hopeful when we did it in 2015, and we kept coming back to that music for exhibitions, because in monumental moments of our career, that song feels like it's us," Hubbell told Figure Skaters Online. "Inevitably we were drawn to the idea of marrying the two versions, the version by K.D. Lang and the version that Zach used to sing to me, which is by Jeff Buckley, and I think it really shows a different side to 'Hallelujah' and something that maybe hasn't been explored as much on the ice, kind of a raw, intimate quality, and that's something that definitely is part of our partnership."

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2021 Skate America Free Dance — "Drowning"

Ten years after they made their Grand Prix debut together at this very competition, Hubbell and Donohue returned to begin what they announced would be their final season. For their final free dance together and one more run at the Olympic podium, they're skating a free dance to Anne Sila's "Drowning."

It's a tender, beautiful culmination of what we've come to expect from them over the past decade. From their impressive lifts — including a particularly striking one that takes advantage of a new rule allowing overhead lifts, which you can find at 1:27 in the clip above — to their incredibly emotional style, it feels like a perfect high note on which to wrap their careers.