Elton John. Daftpunk. Phillip Phillips. Ricky Martin.
These musicians may not be synonymous with Olympic figure skating, but that could change in Beijing. They have been making headlines in arenas and concert halls around the world, and on Thursday during the men’s free skating program, their songs will fill Capital Indoor Stadium.
Of course, the traditional accompaniments of Hans Zimmer, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Vivaldi will always be heard. But as a new generation of skaters matures, so do their musical selections.
Nathan Chen from the USA is hoping to strike gold by skating to a compilation of Elton John hits including ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’, ‘Rocket Man’ and ‘Bennie and the Jets’. His bandmate Jason Brown takes a more classical approach with music composed by John Williams for the film “Schindler’s List”.
Donovan Carrillo, the first Mexican in 30 years to compete in Olympic figure skating, qualified for the free skate under the spell of “Black Magic Woman” by Santana, whose founder and lead guitarist Carlos Santana was born in Mexico . Carrillo will continue to feature Latin artists in his free skating routine, including Ricky Martin, Carlos Rivera and Deorro, a Mexican American DJ.
“It’s something I always try to do in my performance, to involve Mexican culture,” Carrillo said after his short program.
Canada’s Keegan Messing will skate to Karl Hugo’s “Lullaby for an Angel” and “Home,” the 2012 pop hit made famous by Season 11 “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips. Adam Siao Him Fa from France skates with electronic duo Daft Punk.
Singles and pair skaters have been allowed to compete in music with words since the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea – an effort to make the sport more appealing to a younger generation.