More Figure Skaters Performing to Vocal Music

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January 15, 2018

Some figure skaters at this year's Winter Olympics will be dancing to music with vocals, an Olympic first.

The International Skating Union approved the ending of the unofficial vocals prohibition in 2012, but the change went into effect after the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The sport's routines have been done traditionally to music without vocals; in recent years, some competitors have skated routines to vocal music and found themselves marked down unnecessarily, some observers said.

The union said that it had made the change in order to add an additional attraction to younger audiences, who might be tired of hearing such traditional backing music as Carmen and Swan Lake over and over again at international competitions.

Nathan Chen

Some American figure skaters are on board:

One Japanese figure skater who has been wowing crowds with his performance is Yuzuru Hanyu, who has performed to "Let's Go Crazy," by Prince.

Skating pairs could also feature routines set to vocal music.

One sport that has had vocal music for some time is ice dancing. Since the late 1990s, that sport encouraged the pairs to choose vocal music because they were at times struggling to find vocals-free music for some genres. Ice dancing is known for its more nontraditional costumes and performances.

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