Best Figure Skating Routines of the 2018 Winter Olympics (So Far)
The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics are in full swing and there have been so many exciting moments in the games’ first few days. Seventeen-year-old snowboarders Chloe Kim and Red Gerard each took home gold medals for Team USA while Canada’s Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris easily grabbed the gold in the first-ever Mixed Doubles Curling event. But one of the most fantastic sports that’s kept everyone’s attention has been figure skating, which has been full of wonderful storylines thus far. Let’s recap a few of the best figure skating routines of these Olympic games…
Mirai Nagasu’s Historic Triple Axel
Team USA grabbed the bronze medal in the team figure skating competition thanks to Mirai Nagasu becoming the third woman (first American) to ever land a flawless triple axel in an Olympic event. Despite taking second in the women’s free skate – Russian Alina Zagitova placed first – Nagasu’s routine was perfection. She was clearly skating with a chip on her shoulder after being left off of Team USA for the 2014 Sochi games, despite a third-place finish at that year’s national championships.
Adam Rippon Breaks Barriers
It’s an unfortunate aspect of sports: men and women often can’t feel comfortable enough to openly be who they are, regardless of people’s perception of a particular sport. Until Team USA’s Adam Rippon took the bronze medal for the men’s single free skate, no openly gay man had ever medaled in a Winter Olympics. The routine was brilliant and, while some will say that the fact he lost to two men who fell during their routines is outrageous, the truth of the matter is that Rippon’s contribution to the sport (at the “elderly” age of 28) goes well beyond gold, silver or bronze.
NOTE: During Rippon’s post-routine interview with NBC’s Mike Tirico, he tells a story of him and Mirai Nagasu, four years ago, eating In-N-Out burger in tears while watching the Sochi Olympics on TV. Now, look where they are.
Eric Radford and Meagan Duhamel Cruise Through Pairs
Not long after Rippon’s triumph for the LGBTQ sporting community, Eric Radford continued the trend of breaking barriers. In the pairs free skate event, Canadians Radford and Meagan Duhamel brought the house down with their beautiful performance, resulting in a gold medal for Team Canada. With that gold, Radford became the first openly gay Winter Olympics champion.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir Lock It Up for Canada
Americans fell in love with Rippon and Nagasu for so many reasons but, wow, it was not easy to root against Team Canada’s pair of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. In their pairs free skate routine, the two dazzled both figure skating novices and aficionados while even throwing out something for us 90s kids by skating to a Moulin Rouge medley. Sheer talent and skating beauty notwithstanding, the pair’s chemistry was off the charts and had the whole Internet clamoring to know their relationship status. (Spoilers: They’re not a thing). In the end, the phenomenal routine – apparently “toned down” for conservative judges – was enough to lock up the gold for Team Canada.