Brace yourself for this upset. The 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang are over. And we can’t make up our minds about which is worse. That we don’t have an excuse to camp out on our couch for a two-week stretch anymore. (It’s called patriotism, people!) Or that our next Olympic figure-skating fix is now four long years away. At least we can take heart in the fun and fancy-free final performances at the Olympics figure skating gala.
Throwing out point totals, required elements, and rules about jumping sequences, the figure skating exhibition gala celebrates the skaters’ artistry and individual expression. What’s more, the sport’s standout athletes — from medal winners to fan favorites — can perform. Funny props, crazy concepts, and poignant tributes are all welcome. Essentially, all bets are off.
And boy, did this year’s crop of stars put their own spin on the 2018 figure skating gala!
From Alina Zagitova, the 15-year-old Russian skating phenom who just won gold, to world-record-breaking Canadian skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, the skaters left it all on the ice. And though it was hard to choose favorites, here are some of the best moments from the 2018 Winter Olympics figure skating gala.
She may be this year’s queen of figure skating, but Zagitova knows how to bring the heat, too. For her figure skating gala performance, Zagitova showed her wild side, taking to the ice clad in head-to-toe tiger stripes. Skating to Jazzmeia Horn’s “Afro Blue,” Zagitova embodied the “priestess of fire” persona. And we have to say, we were feeling it.
Remember the 1980s? Neither do we. That’s why we went wild when bronze medalist Javier Fernandez’ gala performance took an old-school turn. Silly, sweaty, and sweet, his aerobics-class-inspired routine — and its bitchin’ 80s pop soundtrack — was definitely one to remember.
Valentina Marchei and Ondrej Hotarek
We want to party with Valentina Marchei and Ondrej Hotarek. The Italian pair played Barbie and Ken in a performance not quite wrapped in plastic, but no less fantastic, all set to Aqua’s 90s dance classic “Barbie Girl.” Skating Barbie and Ken dolls come to life? It’s a childhood dream come true!
Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte
The above video might be from the 2017 NHK Trophy event in Osaka, Japan, but ice dancers Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte from Italy nailed the same routine at the Olympics figure skating gala. If you’re a fan of silent film, you’ll see what we mean. Cappellini and Lanotte channeled the funny-faced characters of Charlie Chaplin’s most memorable movies to make this star-powered performance shine.
Grab some Kleenex before you watch (or rewatch) this tear-jerking gem. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu used his time at the figure skating gala to pay tribute to the victims of Japan’s massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Hanyu’s soul-stirring choice of music — combined with his graceful quality of movement — made for one of the evening’s most beautiful moments.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir
We just can’t get enough of Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. They make us feel the feels with every single performance, and their routine at the figure skating gala was no exception. In a program they choreographed themselves to honor Gord Down, the late frontman of Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip, the duo brought their signature emotion to the poignant piece and practically brought down the house.
Oh, Olympics figure skating. We will miss you. Until 2022!