From Toledo to PyeongChang: an Olympic ice dancer's journey
Toledo, Ohio (WNWO) Madison Hubbell is competing in her first Olympics in the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games.
The 26-year-old ice dancer grew up in Michigan, and moved to Toledo in 6th grade.
NBC 24's Jamie Innis sat down with Madison's mother to find out what it takes to raise an Olympian.
"Madison, from the time she was two, wanted to ice skate," said Susan Hubbell. "I mean that’s what she talked about. She would watch it on TV. She would skate in her socks in the foyer and do all the programs that she watched people do. She always liked the pairs."
When Madison was five, Hubbell brought her to the ice.
"They took kids that little. She started learn to skate and never stopped. I mean she loved it she loved it."
Hubbell says when she never imagined at that point that her daughter would end up in the Olympics.
"But when she started skating, when we actually went to the rink, she just really took to it. She loved it, loved skating."
Madison started skating about two years before her brother, Keiffer. The two started training in freestyle and eventually switched to ice dancing.
It was a crazy training schedule, especially when they moved to Toledo. They still trained in Ann Arbor six days a week.
"I was driving them to the rink and coming back. They would train all day and I would drive back to Ann Arbor and get them and come back until Keiffer got his license."
The two switched to online schooling to better fit into their practice schedule.
"There would be maybe two hours on the ice, a 20 minute break, then conditioning and lunch, and ballroom and stretching on ice. It would be like eight hours. A full time job."
Madison competed with her brother for ten years. He retired, and she joined forces with Zachary Donohue in 2011.
The new pair became an instant hit, nabbing a gold medal at an international competition. The duo missed a trip to the winter games in Sochi by two points.
This January, they won nationals, solidifying their spot in PyeongChang.
"I was very excited when they won. We were so ecstatic. I was sitting with Zack’s mom and it was a blur. Maddie and Zak are one of three teams in the US in the top five of the world. So the competition in ice dance for the U.S. is very tough. As you saw in nationals, it was separated by just fractions of a point."
Madison's parents and brother are both in South Korea cheering her on.