The Olympics Is Trying Something New With Music

The 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang introduced a new rule about music for the figure skating competition, and it’s getting mixed opinions.

By nowproducerdave on February 7, 2018
(Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)

It’s going to be a first at the Winter Olympics this year – lyrics will be included in the music that figure skaters use for their routines. In previous competitions, lyrics in songs would actually count against the skaters, points-wise. It didn’t matter what songs were used, pop, broadway, classical – no lyrics have been allowed until now. A French skater used a Michael Jackson song during a competition back in 2012, and it was said that he “happily lived with the automatic deduction for the sake of his art.”

So what’s the big deal? Well, some athletes in the sport fear that adding lyrics to the music might make the performance look “corny.” That’s exactly what Kori Ade said, anyway, who is US skater Jason Brown’s coach. Another coach, Frank Carroll, says that he hated the idea at first, but wound up enjoying the change. US skater Ashley Wagner says that being able to tell a story in a performance is easier when you can have lyrics involved. “I wanted to tell a story and when you have lyrics it makes it so obvious: This is the story I’m telling to you. This is how I’m feeling. This is how you guys should feel, too.”

Other critics of the idea say that lyrics won’t “save the sport,” but rather their points system is flawed. No further details on that were given, but it sounds like most of the athletes and coaches do want some sort of modernization, but universally, music with lyrics doesn’t seem to be what they’re all looking for. Some love it, some are reluctant, and some flat out want to keep it the old way.

Either way, lyrics have been allowed in “ice dancing” for many years, but this will bring a change to the figure skating part of the competition. Will you be watching. Do you care that music choices can include lyrics now? Check here for some more info.

Figure Skating coverage starts tomorrow, a day ahead of the actual opening ceremony on Friday.

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