In dramatic shift, figure skating will allow music with lyrics

The ongoing Winter Olympics in Sochi may be the last time you see figure skating in its traditional form. From next season, the singles and pairs programs will allow the use of music backed by vocals, thanks to new rules agreed on by the International Skating Union. Although lyrical music is already commonplace in the ice dancing discipline, which requires couples to skate to a backing track with a beat, most singles and pairs contestants opt for classical accompaniment.

The New York Times has taken an in-depth look at the reactions and implications of the change. “We have to innovate,” said Katia Krier, a coach with France’s figure skating team. “Our sport is already losing viewers, but we have to give people the desire to watch us….

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