Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue
Official Website - 2012-2015 U.S. Figure Skating National Team Members and 2014 ISU Four Continents Ice Dance Champions
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Welcome to our official website! We're thrilled to be sharing our journeys and experiences with you. Below, you can find real-time updates from our social media accounts. To the right, and throughout this website, we'll also be continually posting longer, more comprehensive content. Thanks for your support, and come visit us again often!
Madi & Zach
Madi and Zach's Tweets (@hubbelldonohue)
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Madi and Zach compete at the 2016 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships
January 23, 2016 - Webmaster Update
Madi and Zach are in St. Paul, MN to compete at the 2016 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Yesterday, they scored 71.10 points for their strong, confident short dance - their highest score so far this season. They are only four points off the lead. Shown here with coach Patrice Lauzon afterwards, Madi and Zach are very happy with their performance and are even more excited to know that they will the final skaters in the ice dance competition. Watch them live, today, on NBC's national broadcast from 3-6pm Eastern.
Madi and Zach are in strong spirits and in top shape after earning valuable competitive experience last month at the ISU Grand Prix Final of Figure Skating in Barcelona, Spain. Madi and Zach were part of a U.S. team that qualified for three spots at this elite event for the first time. In Barcelona, they placed sixth, scoring 66.21 points in the short dance and 96.99 points in the free dance.
Madi and Zach continue to be grateful for the tremendous support they've received from fans all around the world. Here at Nationals, one fan traveled all the way from Japan, having printed up a banner and custom buttons to share. どうもありがとうございます!
Madi and Zach reach skating's top tier in qualifying for ISU Grand Prix Final
Breakthrough follows a first-place finish at Trophée Eric Bompard and third at NHK Trophy
December 8, 2015 - Webmaster Update
Congratulations to Madi and Zach on qualifying for their first ISU Grand Prix Final of Figure Skating! At NHK Trophy in Nagano, Japan, Madi and Zach won the bronze medal by earning personal-best international scores of 66.57 for their short dance and 100.92 for their free dance. In the short dance, they earned Level 4s for both their patterns, while in the free dance, they earned Level 4s for their twizzles and on three of their lifts.
These results reflect the significant improvements they have made under new coaches Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, and Romain Hagenauer. Indeed, British Eurosport commentator Nicky Slater noted how he "absolutely adored... the softness and the flow across the ice."
As part of NHK Trophy, Madi and Zach made their first visit to Japan, and found the entire experience extremely positive and welcoming. For example, the event took place during the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. The event organizing committee in Nagano took extra care in arranging for a special dinner for Team USA that included Japanese chickens decorated to look like turkeys!
Moreover, Madi and Zach were truly touched by the gracious hospitality they encountered everywhere they went, whether shopping in Nagano or in meeting new Japanese fans. In particular, Madi and Zach would like to extend a heartfelt どうもありがとうございます - domo arigatou gozaimasu - for the touching messages and gifts they received during their stay. Madi and Zach can't wait to visit Japan again, and in the meantime, they will take all these good wishes and messages to heart as they continue training for the Grand Prix Final and the U.S. Championships.
Madi and Zach's results at NHK Trophy came on the heels of a strong showing at Trophee Eric Bompard in Bordeaux, France. There, they won the short dance, skating emotionally to a k.d. lang rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." With a score of 64.45, they earned Level 4s for their first pattern, twizzles, and lift. Nicky Slater also reacted, "Hallelujah indeed! That was, just for me, glorious... So much soul... I'm a fan." Although the event was cancelled after the short dance due to the tragic events that occured in Paris that evening, the International Skating Union has ruled that Madi and Zach's placement in the short dance will count as a first-place finish for the event as a whole.
Madi and Zach were immensely saddened and horrified to see the events in Paris unfold on television while they were in France. They would like to extend their deepest sympathies to those affected in Paris and to the people of France. They would also like to thank both the local event committee, the Fédération Française des Sports de Glace, and U.S. Figure Skating for their collective efforts in concluding the event and in ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone at the event.
By virtue of their finishes at NHK Trophy and Trophée Eric Bompard, Madi and Zach have qualified for the ISU Grand Prix Final. The ice dance portion of this elite event usually features the six teams that have accumulated the most points over the course of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating, a series of six events that includes NHK Trophy and Trophée Eric Bompard. Madi and Zach look forward to this extra opportunity to showcase continued improvements in their programs and their overall skating in front of an international judging panel and audience. They are excited to know that their hard work this season is generating favorable attention from many parties - most importantly, their fans.
- Reinvigorated Hubbell, Donohue Compete At First Grand Prix Final (U.S. Olympic Team)
- Madi's meditations: Hubbell blogs from NHK Trophy (IceNetwork)
- Hubbell: 'You don't create magic by playing it safe' (IceNetwork)
Seizing the spotlight
Madi and Zach win the short dance at Trophée Eric Bompard
November 13, 2015 - Webmaster Update
Skating beautifully to k.d. lang's rendition of "Hallelujah," Madi and Zach won the short dance at Trophée Eric Bompard today with a score of 64.45 points. Tune in to IceNetwork tomorrow, Saturday, November 14th for the free dance.
Madi and Zach ready to rock the 2015-2016 ISU Grand Prix series after starting season with gold at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic
November 12, 2015 - Webmaster Update
Madi and Zach have arrived in Bordeaux, France, where they will compete this week at Trophée Eric Bompard. This event marks their debut in the 2015-16 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating, where Madi and Zach are eager to display continued quantum improvements in their skating since making a strong impression in September at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic in Salt Lake City, Utah.
In Salt Lake City, Madi and Zach won the gold medal, earning 61.08 points for their short dance to "Hallelujah" by k.d. lang, and 92.54 points for their free dance to the "Adagio for Tron" from the "Tron" movie soundtrack. Despite slight bobbles in both their programs, Madi and Zach showed off significant improvements to their skating in just six months of training with new coaches Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon.
For example, observers noticed how Madi and Zach have improved their already-strong speed, edging, and ice coverage. Moreover, Madi and Zach gained rave reviews for how they skate with unparalleled closeness in their hand holds and relative to each other.
Since their September event, Madi and Zach have continued to incorporate feedback and improve themselves in all these areas, plus others like lines, extension, posture, and transitions. Also, instead of merely completing all their program elements cleanly, they hope to do so with high grades of execution. Madi and Zach have also benefited from being able to train at maximum intensity since the spring, as their training and results in the previous two seasons were severely compromised by injury.
At Trophée Eric Bompard, Madi and Zach look forward to debuting new costumes for their free dance. Madi's mother, Susan Hubbell, continues to design and create their costumes, communicating constantly with Madi, Zach, and their coaches in Montréal. Madi and Zach will also be "taking over" U.S. Figure Skating's Instagram account for the duration of the competition.
In particular, Madi and Zach are excited to grace the cover of SKATING Magazine for the first time in the November 2015 issue. In an extensive interview with Troy Schwindt, Madi and Zach talked candidly about their challenges in the previous two seasons and their rationale in looking to refresh their skating and their perspective by relocating their training base to Montréal. Madi and Zach also discussed, with refreshing maturity, how they have maintained a strong, productive, and mutually supportive relationship both on and off the ice.
Click to launch the full edition in a new window.
Madi and Zach are immensely grateful that their efforts are being rewarded with such positive attention, and hope to return the favor with significantly improved results this season. Madi and Zach also wish to thank their fans for their continued well wishes and support.
- Dance teams head to Montreal in hopes of rebirth (IceNetwork)
- Montreal life suits Hubbell, Donohue (IceNetwork)
A new season, a new home, a new spark
Madi and Zach answer their fans' questions and provide the latest updates on their move to Montréal and their plans for the upcoming season
July 24, 2015 - Webmaster Update
Madi and Zach are busy training for the 2015-2016 season after moving to Montréal in April to work with coaches Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, Romain Hagenauer, and Pascal Denis at the Centre Gadbois. There, they will train alongside other elite ice dance teams, including newly crowned world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France, Sara Hurtado and Adrià Díaz of Spain, and Alexandra Paul and Mitchell Islam of Canada. Madi and Zach will continue to represent the United States in competition.
Madi and Zach announced the move after placing 10th at the 2015 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Shanghai. While their finish was respectable, given that they had trained at full intensity for only six weeks prior to the event due to Madi's recovery from hip surgery, Madi and Zach felt that the timing was right for a change of scenery. Madi and Zach saw that Marie-France and Patrice were bringing some fresh new perspectives into ice dance, while Marie-France and Patrice also saw Madi and Zach's potential for both power and long lines.
Indeed, Madi and Zach are eager to show off their new look, particuarly their lines and lifts, at the Québec Summer Championships in Pierrefonds on August 8th and 9th. Because their training and results were severely curtailed by injury and surgery the last two seasons, they have worked hard throughout the spring and summer to be fully prepared for the upcoming season. In particular, Madi is pleased to report that she is fully healthy once again after recovering from surgery.
Madi and Zach would like to extend their sincere, heartfelt thanks to Pasquale Camerlengo and Anjelika Krylova, their former coaches at the Detroit Skating Club. Pasquale and Anjelika were instrumental in bringing Madi and Zach together in the first place, and have overseen their success and development as a fairly new team on the skating scene. Madi would also like to thank the medical and physical therapy staff at the Detroit Skating Club for their tireless work throughout her recovery.
Madi and Zach are also immensely grateful for their fans' unwavering support. Recently, Madi and Zach took the time to answer questions that their Facebook fans asked of them. They are pleased to provide their fans with the following updates.
1. Talk a bit about adjusting to your new training environment. What are some new approaches to training that you have experienced in Montréal? Have you changed anything about your training routine - for example, more or less run-throughs? Also, have your coaches suggested any changes to you that have surprised you?
2. Do each of your coaches specialize in certain aspects of skating? Have you found yourselves working more with one or more of the coaches on the Montréal team?
We were concerned, like with any change, that it would take us a while to get settled here in Montréal. The new coaching team has done a wonderful job preparing us already, and we feel more ready for the season than we ever have in July. The group of athletes here in Montréal are very encouraging and supportive of each other, and we even do our off ice classes as a group. The atmosphere here is very conducive to progress, and that is what we are feeling right now - progress.
Marie-France and Patrice share the creative card, but in slightly different ways. Marie-France has created the bulk of both our short dance and free dance. She really creates something real, a piece that is alive and constantly evolving. Patrice assists Marie with lifts, elements, and footwork. He is a technical genius, and therefore he has his hands on everything from stroking class to programs. He is also very organized, and creates our training and run-through schedules, which changes every day. Romain is very good with aesthetics and polishing. He is also teaching us about technique, especially for long lines and flow across the ice.
Our coaching staff is huge, and expands beyond the ice. We are lucky enough to do ballet, workout, ballroom, and theatre class every week. The workout is intense, and sometimes it's outside since it's summertime, but it's very fun to do with the whole group of skaters. Theatre is also something new for us, and so interesting. We feel so invested and deeply emotionally connected to our programs already, and we have only just begun.
3. Talk a bit about how last season turned out, and your goals for the upcoming season. And what do you feel you need to do to accomplish your goals this season?
Last season was a success, but also disappointing. We say this because of Madison's hip surgery, which was a great success. She was able to recover, and compete better and better through the season. This was not a guarantee, and we were of course very pleased with this aspect of our season.
It was also hard, though, to fight through and overcome so much behind the scenes, but not to see that reflected in the form of big successes at our competitions. While we did well and earned some medals, we also think we placed where many people expected of us, without making greater impact. We wanted to create a "wow," and we didn't feel that we accomplished that. We felt a little lost, and we decided that we needed a change of environment to reignite the passion inside us. We feel that we've made the right decision, and we are so happy, excited, and determined to become the best skaters we can be in our new home.
4. How is it like to work alongside Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron? Do you feel that their rise last season means that other skaters - like you - can make similar leaps?
It is truly inspiring training with all the teams in Montréal, and having the World Champions in our home arena is a wonderful asset. They are beautiful, creative skaters, and they're mesmerizing even when they're working on and helping come up with their choreography. Their success last year was a testament not only to their own hard work, dedication, and passion, but also that of the coaching staff here in Montréal.
5. How collaborative has the music selection process been with your new coaches? And when will you release your program music for the season? Anxiously awaiting!
We were very impressed with our music selection process, which was very thoughtful, but also very decisive. We found music for both of our programs in only a few weeks, and both programs were choreographed with such care from Marie-France. Every movement has intention, a thought behind it.
We will release our programs soon, we promise! We really want people to see our program in concert with the music. One does not exist without the other.
6. You have a great connection on the ice, and it's great to see your ability to take on different forms of music. Is there a certain style of music that is your favorite?
We have a great relationship on and off the ice, and have grown close over the past four years. Every day we are learning more about each other, the way we think, and the way we move. We are both very open people who perform on a deeply personal level.
Our skating style is well-suited to the blues, but we feel that we are also very versatile. All of our programs have been different styles and themes, and we are looking forward to showing everyone yet another style that we can perform this season.
7. What has been your favorite program so far, short or free? Also, would you consider revamping your FD from the '13/'14 season (Bohemian Rhapsody) as your Olympic season program? It was exquisite.
We feel that our new free dance is going to be very special, and it is our favorite so far. We loved our program from the 2014 season, and it will always hold a special place in our heart, but we would never repeat any of our programs. We went through so much during the 2014 season, between injuries and barely missing the Olympic team. That year, and that program really bonded us together and made us a stronger team.
8. Who does the choreography for your exhibitions? Loved the Thousand Years one, and the redoing of your first season FD to Joe Cocker as a tribute last year at Nationals.
We do all of the choreography for our show programs. They are a chance for us to feel free and reconnected with our love of skating. There is no pressure during shows - no judges and scores - so we let ourselves relax and just enjoy the moment.
9. Are you going to be doing more shows this year? How do you decide where you do them?
We would love to do some more shows, but we have to put our training first. When we are invited to participate, we always want to say yes, but we have to look at whether or not we can take days away from our training or if we need to really buckle down and work.
10. What do you think you will do when you retire from competing (though I hope it's not for many years!!)? Will you stay involved in skating, or do you have other interests?
Zach: I love to teach and choreograph. After retiring from competition, I'd love to work with all the disciplines of figure skating, with thoughts towards a larger show production. For now, I'm focusing on my training and soaking up all the knowledge of movement, choreography, and technique that I can.
Madi: I've always said that I would leave the world of figure skating, but as I get older, I'm beginning to realize how hard it would be to live away from the ice. I do know that I'd like to have a family and be a mom. I love kids, and I also love to create things. Whether it is gardening, baking, art, or making jewelry, I like to try everything. We will just have to wait and see.
Previous news updates from Madi & Zach
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