French figure skaters Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres surprised viewers when they skated to metal band Disturbed’s cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s 1964 hit “The Sound of Silence.”
“It was our coaches who found it,” James said in an interview with The Associated Press. “They were like, ‘We really think it could be a hit.’ And Morgan listened to it and was like, ‘I don’t like it,’ because we weren’t used to it. And I was like, ‘OK, let me see if I can get into this.’ I thought it could be amazing, and I was like, ‘Morgan, let’s trust them.’ And we were so right to have trusted them.”
This new and delightful choice would not have been possible in past years. This year’s Winter Olympics is the first time that skaters can do routines to songs with lyrics.
“When you have a powerful voice and words to express, it changes everything,” James said.
It remains to be seen whether or not metal will become a mainstay in Olympic figure skating, but because of James and Cipres’s routine, maybe Disturbed will become as quintessential as “Swan Lake.”