Levito Rises Up to Earn World Silver Medal

Isabeau Levito earned the silver medal at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2024 in Montreal on Friday night. Madison Chock and Evan Bates, meanwhile, moved closer to repeating as World ice dance champions by claiming the top spot in the rhythm dance.

Photo Credit Getty Images
By Troy Schwindt

Isabeau Levito came through when it counted most, winning the silver medal at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2024 in Montreal on Friday night, and in the process, helped the United States earn a third spot at next year’s World Championships in Boston. Madison Chock and Evan Bates, meanwhile, moved closer to repeating as World ice dance champions by claiming the top spot in the rhythm dance.

Levito’s first World medal marks the first silver for a U.S. woman at the World Championships since Ashley Wagner in 2016. Team USA has stood on the podium two of the past three years.

Levito, fourth at the 2023 World Championships, followed Japan’s World champion Kaori Sakamoto on the ice. Sakamoto had just brought the crowd to its feet with her event-best free skate. Levito rose to the challenge and delivered her own sterling performance to place second in the segment with a score of 138.43 and second overall with 212.16 points.

With Amber Glenn’s 10th-place finish, the U.S. sewed up three spots for the ISU World Figure Skating Championships next March.

“I’m so happy to be here right now,” Levito said. “I am content with this way to end the season. I feel like I had a very rough season, and I was so disappointed in myself for a lot of the season. I was so confused with how I was skating, but I’m proud of myself and my team of coaches, with all the consistent training and hard training we’ve been doing. To deserve a medal like this at the World Championships is everything to me right now.”

The New Jersey native opened her free skate to music from The White Crow soundtrack by landing a triple Lutz-triple toe combination. She glided from one element to the next, cleanly landing a triple flip-double toe loop and a triple loop in the second half of the program.

Her performance ended, she said, with her in a bit of disbelief.

“I knew that physically I could do this program so well, so easily and so nicely from start to finish,” she said. “I especially, with all the training that I have been doing recently, I was a little concerned after my six-minute warm-up. I didn’t feel like I did good on that and I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to do what I needed to do today, so that was why I was in a little bit of disbelief after, but I’m just really happy.”

Although Glenn earned her best result at a World Championships, she left Montreal feeling “terrible,” she said, about her free skate and a 10th-place finish.

The U.S. champion came out strong to her program to “Exogenesis: Symphony, Part 3: Redemption Song” by Muse. She was the only skater in the competition to cleanly land a triple Axel before cleanly landing a triple flip-triple toe combination.

However, she made mistakes midway through and was unable to turn things around. She finished with a free skate score of 122.00 and an overall total of 186.53.

“I did not feel the greatest out there and I really did try to pull myself back in and fight,” Glenn said. “Now that I’m done for this season, I just want to go back and, next year, plan out a better layout for that free skate. I seem to lose focus every time in that middle part, no matter what I’ve tried. Different strategies, different focus points, but I always seem to kind of lose it in the middle. So, to go back home and reset for next year.”

Glenn, the SKATING magazine Readers’ Choice of the Year winner, said she appreciated all the fan support during Worlds.

“It’s very encouraging, and to be completely honest, it's amazing, but it’s also so much more devastating when you mess up, too, because you just feel like you've disappointed them,” Glenn said. “For me, sometimes it’s hard to get back into it once that’s happened and to not be discouraged, and I tried to do that today, but I just didn’t get back into it 100%.”

In the ice dance competition, Chock and Bates took a major step in repeating as World champions by winning the rhythm dance.

Skating to a Queen medley in their 11th World Championships appearance, they rocked the Bell Centre from start to finish, from their impeccably synchronized twizzles to spectacular closing rotational lift, perfectly timed to “I Want it All's” guitar riff.

Chock and Bates earned the event’s best technical and component marks en route to a score of 90.08.

Should they go on to win the title, it would be a U.S. record fifth World medal for them and the first time a U.S. team has won back-to-back World ice dance titles. Chock and Bates, who train in Montreal, have won every event they’ve entered since the 2022 Grand Prix Final and are looking to cap an undefeated season.

“We felt like this was our best performance of this program this season,” Chock said. “We certainly had the most fun of all our performances thus far, and the crowd was a big, big part of that. They were super supportive. We could hear them cheering for every skater before us, and we knew it was going to be a warm welcome.”

Chock and Bates enter Saturday’s free dance with a lead of 2.56 points.

U.S. silver medalists Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko posted an international personal-best score of 79.26 and sit eighth after the rhythm dance.

They performed to a Stevie Nicks medley. Their choreographic rhythm sequence earned a GOE of 3.56, while their midline step sequence garnered a GOE of 2.99.

“It’s a season-best [score] at a World Championships,” Ponomarenko said. “That tells a lot and we’re happy with the way we’ve been pushing it and hope to carry this momentum into the free dance and then also into next season.”

The Montreal-based team fed off the energy of the crowd, they said.

“It feels amazing,” Carreira said. “There's a lot of people I know in the crowd, and it's a really good feeling to be home and competing.”

A fall near the end of their rhythm dance to a Prince medley spoiled what was an outstanding World Championships debut for Emily Bratti and Ian Somerville.

The U.S. bronze medalists settled for a score of 65.21 to finish 23rd in the field of 36 teams. Only the top 20 teams advanced to Saturday’s free dance.

“I was extremely disappointed, but despite what happened at the end, we’re just really proud of our performance,” Bratti said. “Up until then, I feel like that’s the best we’ve ever skated, and we’ll definitely take this as a learning experience going forward.”

Bratti and Somerville experienced the fall one of the required step sequences.

“It felt like we put our whole entire hearts and energy and fire into the performance, and I think we made the most out of what we can do for most of the program,” Somerville said of the short program. “I think we might have gotten a little bit too excited at the end when we knew that this was going really well. Sometimes you don’t need to try extra hard at the end just because it’s going well. I think that’s part of the learning experience.”

Bratti and Somerville teamed up in the summer of 2021 and train in Canton, Michigan. They placed sixth in their two Grand Prix Series events last fall.

Competition concludes Saturday with the free dance and men’s free skate. Click here for live results. All competition will also be streamed live on Peacock. The full television schedule can be viewed here.