The International Skating Union has modified its rules to allow figure skaters to perform to music with lyrics for the fist Olympics ever, and Pyeongchang athletes are leaping at the opportunity to put some pop in their routines.
While ice dancers have been grooving and gliding to vocals since the late ’90s, figure skaters had been restricted to instrumental selections at the Olympics; now lyrical music from all genres are fair game. The post-Sochi change marks an attempt to appeal to a younger audience for the 2018 Winter Games and other international competitions.
“I think that bringing this different dimension kind of opens doors for skaters that weren’t there before,” Canadian skater Eric Radford told Billboard recently. “It’s probably one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a skater.”
We’ve rounded up some videos of pop songs that have been or will be skated to in the coming days at the Pyeongchang Olympics. Check them out below, and then watch Team USA’s Adam Rippon have a Rihanna moment at a competition in December.
France’s Chafik Besseghier: “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang
France’s Mae Berenice Meite: “Run the World (Girls)” and “Halo” by Beyoncé
Watch NBC’s official video of Meite’s Pyeongchang routine here.
South Korea’s Yura Min and Alexander Gamelin: “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee
Watch NBC’s official video of Min and Gamelin’s Pyeongchang routine here.
France’s Vanessa James and Morgan Ciprès: “Make it Rain” by Ed Sheeran
USA’s Nathan Chen: “Nemesis” by Benjamin Clementine
China’s Han Yan: “I’ll Take Care of You” by Joe Bonamassa
Canada’s Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford: “With or Without You” by April Meservy and Aaron Edson
Canada’s Patrick Chan: “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley
Italy’s Matteo Rizzo: “Help!” by The Beatles
USA’s Adam Rippon: “O (Fly On)” by Coldplay
Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir: The Moulin Rouge version of the Police’s “Roxanne,” shared by the film’s director, Baz Luhrmann
USA’s “Shib Sibs” Maia and Alex Shibutani: “Paradise” and “Fix You” by Coldplay