5 Other Olympic Sports We Could Add Lyrical Music to, Just a Thought

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I assume many of you have heard by now: this year’s Olympics in PyeongChang will be the first to feature figure skaters performing to music with lyrics. Though the change was actually implemented during the 2014-2015 season, this is the first Olympics we’ve had under the new rules which allow the use of lyrics. And from the looks of things, we’re in for a good show.

Here’s Jimmy Ma skating to “Turn Down For What” at the January 2018 US National Championships (song starts around 2:15):

Ma won’t be at the Olympics, but Evgenia Medvedeva will. Here she is as Sailor Moon, skating for the Tokyo world trophy in 2017:

The two-time world champion hasn’t lost an event since November 2015, and is heavily favored as the winner on the women’s side. Medvedeva’s Sailor Moon performance was for an exhibition event (she’s expected to skate to a more traditional medley and some Chopin during the Olympics), but who knows what else will turn up these games! It’s a weird, wild new world.

Here are some suggestions for other sports that would be at least 200% better with lyrical music.

1. Skeleton + Symphonic Metal

First one’s real easy. Skeleton — essentially a face-first ice roller coaster — is the most metal sport in the Olympics.

Here’s athlete Lizzy Yarnold being real cute and approachable seeming, like you could run into her at the grocery store and make friends and she’d be Snapchatting you inside jokes with silly filters a month later:

In contrast, here’s Lizzy beasting her way down the track at 90mph in Sochi, 2014, en route to a gold medal:

The second video sort of got the right idea by including peppy music, but a) the music was added in afterwards, not part of the sport; and b) it’s not really epic, fear-for-your-life enough-y, is it?

Let’s kick this sport up a notch by incorporating actual symphonic metal during the events. I want track designs based around particular songs, and crowd members making the horns. Press play on “The Obsessive Devotion” and replay the zippy video above. Way more heart pounding thrill.

2. Freestyle Aerials + Yodeling

Would you not enjoy this more if participants were also belting out their best yodel?


Yes, these athletes are already performing absurd feats of athleticism. Counterpoint: Xena.

3. Curling + Opera

Bowhunting Jesus, do I love curling.

gif of curling in action

Catherine Lindahl, Anette Norberg and Anna Svaerd of Sweden. 2006 Winter Olympics.

What a strangely compelling and beautiful sport. Not to mention all the gal pallery on display real or imagined.

one woman touching another woman's face

Eve Muirhead and Anna Sloan of Great Britain. 2014 Winter Olympics.

How better to lean into that aesthetic than to pipe in lyric opera over top?

I want curlers casting stones to Queen of the NightArias by Donizetti. Puccini. Extra points granted for sweeping in time to the music. Why not, you know?

4. Biathlon + Dolly Parton

Okay, this:

But with skiing and shooting. Think about it.

5. Women’s Hockey

Yeah, actually — no. Don’t touch women’s hockey. This sport is already perfect.

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Laura Mandanas is a Filipina American living in Boston. By day, she works as an industrial engineer. By night, she is beautiful and terrible as the morn, treacherous as the seas, stronger than the foundations of the Earth. All shall love her and despair. Follow her: @LauraMWrites.

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  1. I think I’d pivot to 90s riot grrrl / electroclash for curling, maybe Fuck the Pain Away or I Like Fucking.

    Or anything else befitting a sport where women are trying to direct smooth, rounded objects into a scoring area that’s essentially a stylised vulva.

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