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GANGNEUNG, South Korea _ U.S. ice dance champions Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue were on the Olympic ice for the first time Friday. Unfortunately, their music never arrived.
The three American ice dance couples, all considered medal contenders, had their initial practice, and everything went smoothly for Madison Chock and Evan Bates.
Then came the allotted time for Hubbell and Donohue.
Except the public address announcer said they were not here, although he apparently meant their music was not available.
"We made a tweak in the music," Donohue said, "and ..."
"They came to us before we started warming up and asked us if we had a CD," added Hubbell. "Here we are on the Olympic ice for the first time and we come completely unprepared."
Not quite. Hubbell had the music on a zip drive. Oops, that wasn't at the rink either.
"I asked them if they could play it on my phone," she said, offering another option. "The first answer was yes, so I handed over my phone. Then they told us no."
Improvising, the duo did about half of their short program without any music. But they ran out of time and had to step aside so teammates Maia and Alex Shibutani could do their full run-through.
Later in the 30-minute session, Hubbell and Donohue finished off their run-through.
Breaking up the sections isn't terribly unusual during practices back home. But at the Olympics?
"We spent three days traveling and processing, and I guess we had a little nerves for our first practice on Olympic ice," Hubbell said with a smile. "But it worked out."