With former partner Emily Samuelson, Bates is the 2009 Four Continents bronze medalist, the 2008 World Junior champion, and the 2009 U.S. national silver medalist. They competed at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Evan Bates was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He graduated from Huron High School in 2007 and from the University of Michigan in December 2013 with a degree in Organizational Studies.
Evan Bates began skating at age four. He trained as a single skater and tested up to the Junior level in the USFSA testing structure, landing jumps through the double axel. He began training with ice dancing coaches Yuri Chesnichenko and Yaroslava Nechaeva after they moved to the United States.
Bates teamed up with Emily Samuelson in May 2000 following the suggestion of one of their coaches, Gary Clark. After competing on the juvenile level in the 2000–01 season, they moved up a level in the 2001–02 season and won the U.S. national intermediate title.
In the 2002–03 season, Samuelson/Bates advanced to the novice level. They competed internationally for the first time through the North American Challenge Skate program. They placed 10th on the novice level at the event in Thunder Bay, Ontario. They won the pewter medal at their regional championship to qualify for their sectional championship. At their sectional championship, they placed 6th and did not qualify for the 2003 U.S. Championships.
Remaining as novices in the 2003–04 season, Samuelson/Bates won their regional championship to qualify for their sectional championship, where they won the silver medal. This qualified them for the 2004 U.S. Championships on the novice level. At nationals, they won the bronze medal. Their placement at nationals earned them a trip to the Estonia International Ice Dancing Championships on the novice level, where they won the silver medal.
In the 2004–05 season, competing in their third season as novices, Samuelson/Bates won the silver medal at their regional championship and won their sectional championship to qualify for the 2005 U.S. Championships. At nationals, they won the novice title.
In the 2005–06 season, Samuelson/Bates moved up to the junior level. Their made their debut on the ISU Junior Grand Prix. At the 2005–06 ISU Junior Grand Prix event in Slovakia, they placed 6th in the compulsory dance, 10th in the original dance, and 6th in the free dance to place 8th overall. At the event in Sofia, Bulgaria, they placed 5th in all three segments of the competition and overall. They won their sectional championship to qualify for the 2006 U.S. Championships, where they won the silver medal on the junior level. This medal qualified them for a trip to the 2006 Junior Worlds, where they placed 10th.
In the 2006–07 season, Samuelson/Bates remained on the junior level. They competed on the 2006–07 ISU Junior Grand Prix. At their event in Mexico, they won all three segments of the competitions and won the gold medal overall. At their event in Taipei, they placed second in the compulsory dance and won the original and free dances to win the gold medal overall. These medals qualified them for the Junior Grand Prix Final. At the Junior Grand Prix Final, they placed second behind training mates Madison Hubbell / Keiffer Hubbell. Qualifying for the Junior Grand Prix Final had given them a bye to the 2007 U.S. Championships. Competing again against the Hubbells, Samuelson/Bates won the junior national title. They were placed on the team to the 2007 World Junior Championships. At Junior Worlds, they were in second place going into the free dance. However, they were forced to withdraw from the competition in the middle of their free dance due to injury. Bates stepped on the back of Samuelson's hand after she fell shortly into the free dance, severing a tendon. Their withdrawal, combined with the placement of the other American teams, meant the U.S. would only have two entries to the 2008 Junior Worlds.
In 2007–08, Samuelson/Bates remained juniors internationally, but moved up to seniors nationally. They began their season on the 2007–08 ISU Junior Grand Prix. Skating with a minor knee injury at their first Junior Grand Prix event, in Lake Placid, Samuelson/Bates won all three segments of the competition to win the gold medal overall. At their second event, they won both the compulsory and original dances, but placed second in the free dance, to win the gold medal overall. These medals qualified them for the 2007–08 Junior Grand Prix Final and also earned them a bye to the 2008 U.S. Championships. At the Junior Grand Prix Final, they placed third in the compulsory dance and second in the original and free dances to win the silver medal overall. At the U.S. Championships, Samuelson/Bates made their senior national debut. They placed fourth in the compulsory and original dances. In the free dance, Samuelson/Bates fell during a lift that had been inserted into the program for the senior program due to the different requirements between junior and senior level free dances. They placed 6th in the free dance and won the pewter medal, continuing their medal streak at the U.S. Championships. Their placement at the U.S. Championships earned them a trip to the 2008 World Junior Championships. At Junior Worlds, they won all three segments of the competition and won the title overall.
In the 2008–09 season, Samuelson/Bates moved up to the senior level internationally. Their first international competition of the season was the 2008 Nebelhorn Trophy. They placed second in the compulsory dance and won both the original and free dances to win the title overall. They made their senior Grand Prix debut at the 2008 Skate America, where they placed 5th in the compulsory dance, fourth in the original dance, and third in the free dance, to place fourth overall. At their second Grand Prix event, the 2008 NHK Trophy, they placed third in the compulsory dance and fourth in the original and free dances to win the bronze medal. At the 2009 U.S. Championships, they placed second in all three segments of the competition, and won the silver medal overall. It was their sixth consecutive medal at the U.S. Championships. This medal qualified them for the teams to the 2009 Four Continents and the 2009 World Championships. At the Four Continents, they placed fourth in the compulsory dance and then third in the original and free dances to win the bronze medal overall. At the World Championships, they placed 13th in the compulsory dance, 11th in the original dance, and 9th in the free dance to place 11th overall.
Samuelson/Bates had an up and down season in 2009–10, failing to medal in their two Grand Prix appearances but finishing 11th at their first Olympics and 9th at Worlds. On April 28, 2010, they announced that they would be leaving long-time coaches Yuri Chesnichenko and Yaroslava Nechaeva to train with Igor Shpilband and Marina Zueva in Canton, Michigan. In September 2010, Bates suffered a complete laceration of his Achilles tendon after Samuelson hit him with her skate blade as she came down from a lift. They missed the entire 2010–11 season as a result. In June 2011, it was reported that they had ended their partnership. On June 28, 2011, Samuelson and Bates confirmed that they had split and said that they were both looking for new partners.
On July 1, 2011, Bates and Madison Chock announced their partnership and said they would continue to work with Shpilband and Zueva. They finished 4th at the 2012 Skate Canada International and 5th at the 2012 Trophée Éric Bompard. They were 5th at the 2012 U.S. Championships. After Zueva and Shpilband ended their coaching partnership, Chock/Bates were the first team to announce that they would continue training with Shpilband.
Chock/Bates finished 4th at the 2012 U.S. International Classic and then won gold at the 2012 Nebelhorn Trophy. They then competed at the 2012 Cup of China and finished 4th. At 2013 U.S. Nationals, Chock/Bates were able to win the silver medal ahead of Maia Shibutani / Alex Shibutani. They were named in the U.S. team to the 2013 Four Continents where they won the bronze medal. At the 2013 World Championships, they finished 7th overall. Chock/Bates competed at the 2013 World Team Trophy and placed first in ice dance, helping Team USA win the team gold for the first time since 2009.
In the 2013–14 season, Chock/Bates were assigned to two Grand Prix events, the 2013 Cup of China and 2013 Rostelecom Cup, and won bronze at both. They won the silver medal at the 2014 U.S. Championships and were named in the U.S. team to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
In the 2014–15 season, Chock and Bates took silver at the 2014 Nebelhorn Trophy, an ISU Challenger Series event, and then won both their Grand Prix events at the 2014 Skate America and 2014 Rostelecom Cup. The team went on to win the silver at the 2014–15 Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final and a month later, won their first senior national title at the 2015 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Chock and Bates later took silver at the 2015 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships before capping off the season with a second-place finish at the 2015 World Figure Skating Championships.
In the 2015–16 season, Chock/Bates won gold at the 2015 Nebelhorn Trophy, again an ISU Challenger Series event. At the event, they received comments that "Dark Eyes" was not suitable for a polka rhythm. They changed the short dance music to "More" and "Unchained Melody" to clarify the rhythms, and won the gold at the 2015 Skate America followed by a silver at 2015 Cup of China. They then won the silver medal at the 2015–16 Grand Prix Final in Barcelona, behind Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver / Andrew Poje.
GP: Grand Prix; CS: Challenger Series; JGP: Junior Grand Prix