Team USA Ice Dance pairing Zachary Donohue and Madison Hubbell share how they've grown together and as individuals over the course of the pandemic leading up to their second Olympic showing.
MADISON HUBBELL: My name is Madison Hubbell. My partner is Zachary Donohue. We have skated together for 11 years and we have been training and competing very well for the last four since our 2018 Winter Games experience.
ZACHARY DONOHUE: For me COVID was an amazing opportunity for both of us, but I especially saw it in Maddie kind of step back from skating and find value in ourselves outside of the sport and in our own individuality. As a woman, as a plant mom, as an artist, as an athlete, it's been really cool watching Maddie kind of cast off all of these stresses and labels and just difficult dynamics that we all as athletes deal with, but I think especially you know the females in nice stands have a lot of pressure on them. And I'm very proud to have someone so strong next to me on a daily basis.
MADISON HUBBELL: I think also for him having some alone time and stepping away from the daily grind and maybe having more time to explore his own interests. The thing that struck me was I've always known he's a hardworking person and creative, and very capable, but I don't know that he always knew that about himself. And I saw a lot of growth in that he was able to say what he wanted communicate what he wanted and follow through with that plan.
And you know I can be a little bit of a taskmaster on the ice and be the one that feels like I'm driving the ship sometimes, but it was really nice to see him in his own life just take charge and show up for himself in a new way. And I think he became even stronger and even better athlete in those months where maybe other people just sat at home and watched Netflix. So I was really proud of him.