Evan Bates and Madison Chock, at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating final in Beijing. GETTY IMAGES

The US figure skaters, who won the gold medal after Kamila Valieva was disqualified from the 2022 Winter Olympics, want a ceremony at the Paris Olympics. 

Reigning world ice dance champions Evan Bates and Madison Chock were among the nine Americans who were named as team figure skating champions at the 2022 Beijing Olympics after Kamila Valieva, part of the victorious Russian team, was handed a four-year ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). 

The medals have yet to be awarded because the teenager failed a doping test before the Beijing Winter Olympics. But Chock and her teammates are keen to receive their medals in the atmosphere of the Olympic Games and as soon as possible, AFP reported. 

"We've been thinking about it. We would like to have a real Olympic medal ceremony. For us, that would be a ceremony at the Paris Olympics this summer... surrounded by the Olympic spirit. That would be the dream scenario," Chock said. 

After a Russian anti-doping investigation found Valieva "without fault or negligence", CAS upheld an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Valieva's removal from Russia's team rankings meant the US team moved into the gold medal spot in a re-ranking announced by the International Skating Union (ISU) on Tuesday. 

Japan moved up to silver, while Russia, who were not disqualified because Valieva did not fail a doping test at the Beijing Olympics, moved up to third and Canada to fourth. Appeals could still be lodged, but Sarah Hirshland, chief executive officer of the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee, said she had been instructed to award the gold medals to the American skaters.

Sarah Hirshland, CEO of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. GETTY IMAGES
Sarah Hirshland, CEO of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. GETTY IMAGES

"I've been given clear direction that we should proceed with awarding medals to the US team and that's what we're going to do. There's no scenario where Team USA won't be the gold medallists and we're anxious to get those medals out there. Everybody has a sense of urgency," Hirshland commented. 

Hirshland said appeals that could cast doubt on other podium spots shouldn't delay a US ceremony. "It doesn't have to be a ceremony with all three - gold, silver and bronze," she said. "We have some flexibility and latitude." 

Chock said that when the controversy first erupted two years ago, she never expected it to take so long to resolve. "There was a little undercurrent of disappointment and sadness," Chock said. 

"I didn't realise it was weighing on us all the time until we got the resolution. It's like a weight has been lifted. It's like we're celebrating our Olympic experience all over again. It brings a sense of closure to this whole movement and to the Beijing Olympics."

Madison Chock and Evan Bates skate during the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. GETTY IMAGES
Madison Chock and Evan Bates skate during the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. GETTY IMAGES

And at the age of 31, Chock can finally call herself an Olympic champion. "Amazing, honestly," she said. "A feeling I've always dreamed of, one I almost can't believe is finally here. It has been a very happy 24 hours." 

Bates said the past day had been "surreal" and "unbelievable" after the long delay. "It's been a long and arduous wait, but we've got to this point. I hope this team is remembered as much for how we've handled this off the ice as we've performed on the ice," she told AFP. 

The US gold medal squad included included three-time world champion and 2022 Olympic men's champion Nathan Chen, Vincent Zhou, Karen Chen, Alexa Knierim, Brandon Frazier, Madison Hubbell, Zachary Donohue, Bates and Chock. 

When asked if he would be sharing the podium with the Russians, Bates made it clear that he was more concerned with who was at the top of the podium with him. "I just want to be standing up there, all nine of us on top of the podium. I can't wait for that moment to arrive," he concluded.