The 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea will almost reach its first week of competition, and already a number of interesting developments have taken place on the rinks. One very prominent example is in the figure skating events. Normally one might picture a figure skating routine to usually vibrant orchestrated music or instrumental tunes. But a landmark ruling by the sport’s global governing body has opened up a world of new possibilities, and multiple Olympic skaters are exploiting the new change for all its worth, resulting in some attention-grabbing routines that are ripe to be social media topics.
As Entertainment Weekly puts it, the International Skating Union (ISU) has made a landmark decision to modify its rules for use in Olympic competition only weeks ago. From now on, skaters will be able to perform routines set to music with lyrics. So for sports watchers turned off by yet another round of spinning and jumping to the airs of Tchaikovsky or Beethoven, it’s time to clear out your ears and pay attention to the action. Thanks to this new ruling, figure skating has gotten very interesting, with contestants for the Olympic events making some awesome mixes for their acts.
Just to illustrate the popularity of this motion, social media (looking at you, Twitter) is now getting flooded with video snippets of figure skaters singles and pairs in action at Pyeongchang, all of them grooving to some ear-pleasing accompaniment to their figure-eight’s and axles. A French female solo figure skater was captured on camera doing a Biellmann spin to “Run the World (Girls)” by Queen Bey, Beyoncé herself. Her pair compatriots in Morgan Ciprès and Vanessa James went with “Make It Rain” by Ed Sheeran. Not enough for you? How about the South Korean pair of Yura Min and Alexander Gamelin, gliding across the ice to Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s 2017 winner “Despacito”.
It does not take a genius to figure out that the ruling for lyrical music in Winter Olympic figure skating is a pragmatic step. While some traditional skaters and coaches are concerned over the potential of making the sport appear “corny”, using songs with words for skating routines has been touted as a sure-fire way to make the event appealing to younger audiences, especially considering that all music genres are allowed as per the new ruling.
Interestingly, Russian Olympian Evgenia Medvedeva, who in a past competition skated to the theme from the “Sailor Moon” anime (in costume), had her Pyeongchang short program be set to a piece by Frederic Chopin, with a routine theme based on “clinical death”. It got her a 81.06, the highest score ever given to the ladies’ short program for figure skating.
Photo courtesy of Yahoo