I can’t say it was unexpected. But, seeing the official announcement that 2010 Olympians Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig have ended their 10-year-long partnership is bound to make you stop and reminisce.
These two have been through the ultimate gamut of emotions in an elite athletic career. From 12th in the US at their first Nationals together in 2003, to fourth in 2007, to the climax of claiming one of the two spots on the 2010 Olympic team, to the disappointment of missing the World team this past March … they’ve had high highs and low lows. But, through it all, they’ve maintained a level of class and integrity that make them true champions.
Since making the Olympic team in 2010, they became one of America’s best, putting their “veteran” status to good use and presenting themselves as medal threats throughout the Grand Prix series.
And, like any roller coaster, there were elements of surprise and momentary panic! Who could forget the 2011 Four Continents episode where Mark’s boot came apart mid-skate and the boot-swap from Rudi Swiegers that followed? That incident was just one of many that showed off Evora and Ladwig’s composure and complete faith in one another.
There were plenty of beautiful moments, too. Like sharing the Olympic experience with training mates (and for Evora, with her fiance) Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett. Or skating to a 10th place finish there in Vancouver.
There was this: their first Grand Prix medal-winning performance in Moscow, Russia.
Add to that their elegant style, unique music choices, creative choreography, and first-rate lifts, and they gave skating fans something special every time.
According to the official announcement, Amanda will retire from competitive skating, while Mark intends to continue his career.
“Thank you to Amanda, my fellow Olympian, for partnering with me and for sharing in so many amazing experiences over the last decade,” Ladwig said. “Thank you to our coaches, fans and U.S. Figure Skating for their constant support and belief in Amanda and me.”
“I’d like to thank Mark for living our skating dreams together. With a steady rise, we enjoyed a decorated career. As Mark furthers his skating career, I am supportive of his endeavors,” Evora said. “I’d like to thank our coaches for continual guidance and direction, U.S. Figure Skating for giving us the opportunity to represent Team USA for past 10 years and, last but not least, I’d like to thank God, my family, friends and the skating community for their overwhelming support. If not for them, my career would be meaningless.”
Thank YOU, Amanda and Mark for representing yourselves, your sport, and your country with grace and integrity throughout your world-class career. Your path was a pleasure to follow, and I’m sure your next steps will be filled with the same quality and passion.
All the best as you continue on to the next phases of your lives.