USA ice dance skaters Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue share so much chemistry on the ice that it makes it easy to think they could be more than just skating partners.
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue have been skating together for the last ten years and have gone to various competitions, including World Championships, US Championships, and the Olympics.
Their intense chemistry radiates off them from the moment they step on the ice. So it is no wonder fans and audiences are curious to know if the chemistry translates off the ice too.
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue competing in the ice dance rhythm dance of the figure skating event during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games on February 12, 2022 [Left]. Hubbell and Donohue during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games [Right] | Photo: Getty Images
Six months into their partnership in 2011, Hubbell and Donohue did have a romantic relationship off the ice and made it work for two and a half years before they decided they wanted to focus on their sport.
While preparing for the 2018 Olympic champaign, the ice dancers decided it would be best to break up romantically but keep their professional relationship intact. Hubbell explained to TEAM USA:
"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."
Hubbell and Donohue realized they were not focused on their skating career, so they had to ask themselves a tricky question: What was more critical, their on-ice partnership or their off-ice romance? They chose their on-ice partnership.
It is interesting that the couple even found themselves in a romantic relationship because when they first met, they did not like each other. After all, Hubbell and Donohue had spent their early careers competing against each other.
Furthermore, during an interview with People, Hubbell revealed that they "hated each other," but their mutual coach forced them to skate together to kill time, and they found they had fantastic chemistry together.
Hubbell's partner, her brother Kieffer, had just retired from skating because of a series of health complications. Donohue had just split with his partner Alessandra Aronow, so the timing was perfect. Donohue said of their first time on the ice together:
"I noticed all the coaches were huddled off by themselves talking excitedly and looking in our general direction. I figured this was kind of the start."
Despite starting their partnership on a rocky foundation and going through a romance and breakup, Hubbell and Donohue came out on the other side and explained they were better for it.
Hubbell shared their off-ice relationship helped them connect on a deeper level. After watching how seamlessly their relationship evolved from a couple to strictly professional, they realized how committed they were to each other and their goals.
Donohue is also confident about their partnership as he once remarked although they did not have romantic feelings for each other, they have an "innate back-of-the-mind" care and love for each other that has continued to grow.
The Montreal-based duo participated in the Olympics for ice dance and won bronze. This was their final Olympic appearance before they retired. Previously they came fourth at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.