US ice dance champs Chock/Bates withdraw from Skate America

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Two-time U.S. ice dance champions Madison Chock and Evan Bates have withdrawn from Skate America scheduled for later this month.

The duo won a second U.S. title at the national championships in January.

“After much consideration, we have decided to withdraw from Skate America,” Chock and Bates said in a statement Friday. “Our training and preparation have been affected by the pandemic and at this time we are 100% focused on our preparation for the 2021 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

“We will be staying at our training base in Montreal, but will certainly miss the thrill of competition and seeing our U.S. figure skating family. We wish everyone good health and good luck!”

Skate America on Oct. 23-25 is the first of six events in the Grand Prix Series, which already has canceled its finals scheduled for December in Beijing. All of the Grand Prix events are open only to skaters of the host nation or those who are training in that country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2021 U.S. Championships are scheduled to take place in San Jose, California from Jan. 11-17, 2021.

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