INTERVIEW TO MADISON HUBBELL AND ZACHARY DONOHUE
-You have won the gold in USA nationals championshsips, was this your goal for that competition? Did you prepare in any special way or did you do the usual training?
Our goal for this season was to become National Champions, yes. But this result was not fully in our control. We could control how we trained all season, and that is where our focus was this year. We wanted to train like Champions, with discipline and courage. We knew that if we put in the work every day, we would be able to skate our best at competition. We felt confident that if we were able to deliver strong performances, and to stay in the moment, then we would be able to achieve our goals.
-You will represent USA in the Olympic games for the first time, something really special for any athlete , How do you face this competition?
This competition is really a dive into the deep end of the unknown. Zachary and I have never been to the Olympics, and we are full of questions. Instead of trying to answer all of them, we are going into next month with no expectations. We want to enjoy every moment of this experience, and to show the world our pride to represent Team USA in Pyeongchang.
-Your ice rink is full of champions and good skaters, how is the atmosphere there?
Is it hard to share training with so many people?
We are fortunate to have coaches that manage the situation well. The coaching team makes their teams feel individual and honoured. We each have plenty of attention, and they protect our training environment by giving each of their teams something specific to their needs. The atmosphere is usually quite calm, but as we head in to big competitions, like the Olympics, we can feel the energy rising. Papadakis/Cizeron, Virtue/Moir, and Zachary and I were all on the ice together for the first time in a while last week. The energy is high, as each team is working on improving their own programs, and appreciating the improvement of the others. Watching those two teams has been an inspiration for us.
-You both train with your sentimental couple…Does this have more advantages or disadvantages?
I believe that training with Adrian has been a huge part of my success in the last three seasons. Adrian and I have a very stable relationship, of over three years, and his support and love have made an impact on who I am on and off the ice.
With the addition of Zachary and Olivia dating, we put in some work to make sure our partnerships on and off the ice were balanced. We have a support system around us that is very strong, and we are very thankful for that!
-As we have already said “Team Gadbois” is full of great skaters… What is the magic formula of Patrice, Marie France and the rest?
The coaching team in Montreal teaches more than figure skating. They are mentors, both on and off the ice. They are open to anything, and help us to learn from their example. In my experience, training programs with many coaches can become unproductive as each coach has a different idea of what is needed. In Montreal, all of the coaches (Marie France, Romain, Patrice, Pascal, Josee, Sam, Ginette, Catherine..) are open and interested to the unlimited possibilities of what could work.
-The music of your programs is always original and little used by other skaters, how do you choose them?
Marie France does most of our choreography, and what I like about our coaches is that they are not afraid to try something new. Zachary and I love pushing ourselves to tell a story on music that people don’t previously know or have a connection to. We find it more challenging to convey something that is unknown, but there is also more freedom to create.
-In spite of the regulation, in this sport in which the artistic part must be combined with the technique, sometimes is difficult to understand the work of the judges … what changes or modifications do you think should be made in the rules to improve this aspect for avoid polemics or traps and favoritism?
I think that with any judged sport, there will always be a question of whether the scores were fair. I only say this because every athlete does their best to create the “best” programs, but each person has their own perspective of what that may be.
There are cases in which the judging is very obviously corrupt, and in those cases, I believe the ISU should take a firmer stand on banning those officials from participating in the sport in the future. We are beginning to see a movement of transparency in the media, exposing judges who were not following guidelines, and this is the first step to awareness.
-Madison, we have seen in your social networks some post in Spanish, are you studying our language?
She reply us in Spanish:
Claro! Mi novio es Adrian Diaz, entonces necesito hablar en español. No puedo hablar sobre todas las cosas que quiero, pero estoy aprendiendo. La familia de Adrian no hablan Ingles, y quiero hablar con mi suegra, suegro, y cuñada. El pasado verano, su hermana vino a Montreal por seis semanas. Ella me ayudo mucho hablar en español, porque estoy tímido intentar. Quizá, tengo un futuro en España, enseñando hijos a patinar, así que necesito seguir practicando.
Of course!My boyfriend is Adrián Díaz, so I need to talk in Spanish. I can’t talk about all thinks that I want,but I am learning. Adrián’s family don’t speak English and I want to talk with my father in law, mother in law and sister in law.Last summer, his sister came to Montreal for six weeks. She helped me a lot to talk in Spanish, because I am shy to try. Maybe I have a future in Spain teaching children to skate, so I need to continue practicing.
-Talking about networks, you both have dog and we see them often on Instagram, who cares for them when you have competition?
Adrian and I have a women named Genevieve, who Marie France and Patrice suggested to us. She lives one hour away from us, in the country. She competes in Canine Cross (running/biking/skiing with dogs pulling you), and her son likes to run with Nova when she is there. Nova is half husky, and half Pomeranian and really enjoys being outside with the other dogs.
Jaxon and Duke, Olivia and Zachs juggle brothers stay here in Montreal. They found a woman who owns a doggy day care, and they both stay at her home while we are at competition.