Are They or Aren't They Dating? The Hottest Olympic Ice Skating Partners
Madison Chock and Evan Bates
Ice dancing partners Madison Chock, 25, and Evan Bates, 28, have been skating together since 2011, taking home honors like the 2018 U.S. Championships bronze medal and the bronze medal at the 2016 World Championships. Heading into the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, the two had a strictly business relationship: Chock was dating fellow ice dancer Deividas Stagniunas, and Bates was single.
During the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, however, everything is different; the couple recently opened up to
about how they took their relationship from ice dancing partners to romantic partners in 2016. "Maddie and I met and we were competitors for a long time. Then, even when we started skating together, we were just friends at first," Bates told People. "We had a really good relationship and just as we got older, we sort of fell in love on the ice and realized that we should be together."
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue
This promising pair took home the gold medal at the 2018 U.S. Championships but finished just short of the podium in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Despite their clearly strong connection, partners Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue said they "hated each other" and were fierce competitors prior to coupling up on the ice in 2011, according to an interview they did with
. Even more surprising is that the two became an actual couple about six months after they started skating together. They were in a relationship for about two and a half years before calling it off—so they could focus on their performance on the ice, according to the NY Post. "To work harder and do all of these things right, we just realized that to date and be with each other 24/7 with our particular personalities was just explosive, and we weren't able to keep our focus where it needed to be," Hubbell said in an interview for Team USA.
While skating on Olympic ice with your ex might seem like a terrible idea, it appears Donohue and Hubbell are as close as ever: "We always tell each other we love each other before we start our program," Donohue told People, just before the Pyeongchang Games.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir
At the 2018 Pyeongchang games, this Canadian pair won their second Olympic gold medal in ice dancing, becoming the most decorated figure skaters in Winter Games history. (This is Olympic medal number five, topping off their gold from the 2010 Vancouver Games and a silver from the 2014 Sochi Games.)
With all the success the couple's had on the ice, you'd think the two would be a perfect match. But aside from a short "dating" stint as 7- and 9-year-old children (when they initially started skating together), the two promise they aren't romantically involved, according to
. However, dedicated fans insist that something is up—latching onto any extra hand-holding, mid-performance kisses, or other moments of could-be PDA as proof of an off-ice relationship. The pair admitted to Time that their relationship is "complicated," given all the time they've spent together over the years.
Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani
Also known as the "Shib Sibs," this U.S. brother-sister ice dancing pair is most definitely not a couple. In fact, their bronze medal at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games makes Maia and Alex the first U.S. siblings to win an ice dancing medal.
Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje
Canadian ice dancers Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje placed seventh in Sochi, their first Olympics, and headed into Pyeongchang with their sights on the podium. They didn't place, but they scored a team gold with the rest of the Canadian figure skating team. When it comes to their relationship, they've been through everything from big wins and disappointing losses to nagging injuries, so it makes sense that they're committed—to their sport. "Skating takes up such a huge part of my time and energy, I don't really have many friends outside of the sport!" says Weaver. Poje says he's too busy to even look for love, but he wants someone honest whom he can talk to easily and who finds humor in all types of situations.
Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland
Three-time British national champions Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland have been awarded a slew of medals since pairing up in 2005 and just finished 10th at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, their third Olympics. Winning the 2014 European bronze and six international medals, these ice dancers are a natural fit in work and play. Yep, they're a couple.
"We started dating after we began skating together, and it works really well because we have the same goals and aspirations," says Buckland. "People are surprised because we work and live together, but we get on so well it makes training so easy."
Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim
Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim don't have the same last name because they're siblings—but because they're married. "We just know everything about each other, and I think it helps in the day-to-day when we go to practice and when we compete," Alexa told
. "We support each other and we kind of know what the other one needs in that moment, and I think that's what pushes us forward to be the great team that we are."
Their appearance at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games makes them the first married pair to compete at the Olympics since U.S. skaters Jenni Meno and Todd Sand skated in Nagano in 1998. They were the sole representative for the country in the pairs division at this Olympics but made headlines for being the first Americans to land a quad twist. Sadly, they didn't receive an Olympic medal for their performance but did help Team USA win the team bronze.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White
Team USA ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White have skated together for about two decades now and look so natural holding hands that most people assume they're an item—but they're not. "We're very up-front with our relationship and have made it very clear we're not dating, but we take it as a compliment and it doesn't bother us," says Davis. "For the last 15 years we've spent just about every day together, but we're just friends and business partners, which is already complicated enough."
In case that wasn't enough to dispel any relationship rumors, in 2015, White married 2006 Olympic silver medalist ice dancer Tanith White, now a broadcaster for NBC Sports. In July 2017, Davis got engaged to former figure skater Fedor Andreev.
Though Davis and White decided not to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, they're still skating shows around the world and competing on Dancing with the Stars following their epic Olympic gold medal win at the 2014 Sochi Games.
Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford
This Canadian figure skating pair won a bronze at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games—but they definitely won't be celebrating in a romantic way. Radford came out as gay in 2014, just before the Sochi Winter Olympics: "A lot of pairs end up dating one another. It can become risky because your on-ice training can be affected by your off-ice relationship. If you have a fight at home, it makes that training difficult. I used to joke around that I'm the ultimate pair-boy. I never had to worry about developing an off-ice relationship," said Radford in an interview with
Despite the fact that they aren't a romantic couple, Duhamel and Radford (who've skated together since 2010) do describe themselves as "soulmates," according to
—a special chemistry that clearly helped them score their latest Olympic medal.