Ice dancers Emily Samuelson & Evan Bates, 2010 Olympians and the 2008 World Junior champions, announced they have ended their 11-year on-ice partnership. Both athletes plan to continue their respective careers and are looking for new partners.
“We have enjoyed a successful partnership that would not have been possible without support from so many people,” Bates said. “We want to thank our families, coaches, fans and all the people at the Arctic Figure Skating Club and the Ann Arbor Figure Skating Club who have supported us during our time together.”
The team formed in 2001 and trained the majority of its career with Yuri Chesnichenko and Yaroslava Nechaeva in Ann Arbor, Mich. In April 2010, Samuelson and Bates moved to Canton, Mich., to be coached by Igor Shpilband and Marina Zoueva.
“I wish Evan nothing but the best, for he truly is a talented skater,” Samuelson said. “Now that we are looking in new directions, I remain optimistic about what the future holds for my ice dancing career.”
Under Chesnichenko and Nechaeva, the duo became U.S. champions at the intermediate (2002), novice (2005) and junior (2007) levels. They captured the silver medal at the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in 2007 and 2008 and the gold at the 2008 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships.
As seniors, Samuelson and Bates are two-time U.S. medalists, winning silver in 2009 and bronze in 2010. Their third-place finish at the 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships helped them to earn a trip to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, where they finished 11th.
Samuelson and Bates sat out the 2010-11 season after Bates injured his Achilles tendon in an accident at practice.