Sport and music are intimately linked. Everyone needs a hype-up song, a game anthem, a walk-up song. And when it comes to world-class athletes, no one knows the importance of song better than Olympians.
For the 2022 Winter Olympics, the intensely watched figure skating events, in particular, presented some interesting musical choices.
Russian figure skater Alexandra Trusova performed her silver medal-winning free skate program to a mashup of “Call Me Cruella” by Florence and the Machine and “I Wanna Be Your Dog” by The Stooges. Watch his performance HERE.
Interestingly, Trusova’s classic rock pick was a departure from previous skaters. Others in the sport, like American pair Madison Chock and Evan Bates, who helped Team USA win silver in the team figure skating competition, chose a Daft Punk mix of “Contact” , “Touch” and “Within” from the band’s 2013 album Random access memories.
But how do these athletes choose their songs?
“There are a lot of them,” American pair skater Brandon Frazier told USA Today. “We try to find music that we identify with. It’s number one. We rely a lot on the opinion of our choreographer, on what he sees us doing. … But overall, when we skate on it, we have to feel it.
“You hear this music every day. You do the same moves every day,” explained US Olympic gold medalist Nathan Chen. “So if something isn’t fun to skate, it becomes kind of a chore for a while.”
Chen won his gold medal skating to a medley of songs by Elton John – “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, “Rocket Man” and “Bennie and the Jets”.
So what we hear is that music is a necessary part of the Olympics. NBC Sports has compiled a list of songs that US Olympians are listening to. Snowboarder Shaun White chose Summer Salt’s “Revvin’ my Cj7”, and freestyle skier Ashley Caldwell chose Foals’ “Wake Me Up”. Listen to the full playlist of favorite American Olympian songs below.