U.S. Ice dancing team Madison Chock and Evan Bates will not earn a medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics after they suffered a heartbreaking fall during their routine.
The duo was performing to John Lennon’s “Imagine” during the ice dancing finals on Monday before falling down in the middle of their routine. Bates and Chock were about to attempt a spin move when their skates tangled, sending both crashing down into the ice.
They quickly got back up to finish their routine, but at that point, their hopes of winning an Olympic medal were shattered. They completed the routine with an emotional embrace. NBC commentators described their shocking fall as “heartbreaking.”
“That’s such an obvious mistake,” NBC’s Terry Gannon said after the tragic slip up on the ice. “It’s just kind of a given that you don’t fall if you’re going to challenge one of the top spots.”
“I don’t know how you carry on with the rest of the program because you know your chance for a medal is gone,” he added.
The skating duo was in seventh place going into the race, but if they performed well during Monday’s routine, they could have had a chance at a bronze medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics. They finished in ninth place overall.
Twitter reacts to Madison Chock and Evan Bates Olympics routine
As soon as the ice dance duo hit the ice, Twitter reacted.
To fall like that – in front of the world – and get up with a smile, dance harder and finish the performance so beautifully is what makes athletes like Chock and Bates great Olympians. It was a bittersweet #Olympics moment, but they earned the audience’s applause and admiration.
— Dan Riley (@ThreeColumnsArt) February 20, 2018
— Maggie Hendricks (@maggiehendricks) February 20, 2018
— Arlene (@ArleneTanudjaja) February 20, 2018
— Synthia T. (@synthiat) February 20, 2018
NBC reporter Nick Carvel described Madison Chock and Evan Bates fall as a “horrible moment” for the U.S. ice skaters looking to earn a medal at the Olympics.
Nightmare for Chock/Bates: They completely go down on a combination, both flat on the ice. Horrible moment for them #PyeongChang2018
— Nick McCarvel (@NickMcCarvel) February 20, 2018
Madison Chock and Evan Bates expressed their feelings about their performance during an interview after the dance.
“Everybody’s looking at us like we’re injured puppy dogs,” Bates said. “I think we just clicked blades entering the spin and it’s really impossible to spin with that kind of friction. One moment things were going exactly how we wanted them to and the next moment, in a flash, disaster struck. There’s no other way to put it,” he added.
Chock, who was competing in the Olympics with a foot injury, tried to remain optimistic when asked about what happened during the routine.
“It’s just so fresh,” she said. “I’m really proud of how we recovered and got up and just still can’t believe it happened. As soon as it happened, I said, ‘My God, our butts are on the ice where our skates are supposed to be.’ We’ve worked so hard this season to kind of reinvent ourselves.”