Ballet Music Kinda Just Won Olympic Figure Skating

February 22, 2018

Once upon a time (until the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi concluded, to be exact), figure skaters had to compete to music without words. Before this rule change, a skater faced an automatic point deduction if the music even hinted at vocals. Understandably, there were *a lot* of Olympic programs skated to classical music, and you’d tend to hear the same music selections over and over and over.

Fast-forward to this Olympics, where skaters are having tons of fun with their music selections. (I mean, did you see how Adam Rippon brought Coldplay up to crazy new heights through his Benji Schwimmer-assisted free skate? He better slay.) But we’re also thrilled to see many skaters continuing to breathe triple-lutzious (#sorrynotsorry) new life into music from the world of classical ballet—and ending up on the podium for their efforts.

Last night in the ladies’ free skate, Olympic athlete from Russia Alina Zagitova nabbed gold performing to selections from Don Quixote. At just 15 years old, her maturity of expression and épaulement have a ways to go, but check out how terrifyingly brilliant those jumps are! And yes, we’re big fans of the very Kitri-worthy mini red tutu.

And then there’s Kaetlyn Osmond, who turned in what commentators Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski said was “the skate of her life” to music from Swan Lake. Dressed as the black swan Odile, Osmond bourréed, arabesqued, and generally flew across the ice to snag a well-deserved bronze for Canada.

What do you think of figure skaters paying homage to classical ballet—love it or leave it? As long as their port de bras is pretty, I’m so here for it. How about a Rose Adagio next?

(Editor’s note: Footage from last night’s free skate competition has not yet been released to YouTube etc., so we’ve included clips from past major competitions that closely matched how well these athletes skated last night in PyeongChang.)