Olympics Column: Skating Team Event

Bess: Hi, this is Bess.

Grace: And this is Grace.

Bess: And we are watching the Olympics. 

Grace: Yes, we are. 

Bess: So a little bit about us. We are not NARPs, but we’re also not ARPs. 

Grace: We are semi-athletic SARPs.

Bess: Yeah. And we’re gonna be watching ice dancing and figure skating, but we know nothing about either.

Grace: So stay tuned.

Bess: We will be watching the team event. We will only be watching the American team compete, because we don’t have a lot of time and the whole thing’s like six hours. And we would like to say to our guests that The Phoenix is not paying for Peacock premium and we think that’s rude. So if you would like to Venmo us $5 so we can continue this content.

Grace: Yeah, please do.

Bess: Grace, anything to add before we get started.

Grace: I love ice skating. And I’ll be commenting on that. So look forward to that.

Men’s Short Program: Nathan Chen – 1st Place

Bess: Nathan Chen is about to take to the ice. How are we feeling?

Grace: I love him so much. I wrote a whole article dedicated to him in high school. 

Bess: I’m still nervous because as you know, last Olympics, this same event was the start of a mental spiral. For viewers at home four years ago, when he took the ice in this event he messed up, and it really went to his head.

Grace: And then there were all these articles saying he’s a disappointment to America. 

Bess: For viewers who care about his outfit. He’s in dark black pants and a tuxedo shirt.

Grace: He loves a black look. He’s always wearing black.

Bess: He’s not usually a super fancy or showy kind of costume person. Which is too bad because I love a good sparkle.

Grace: I love a good sparkle for sure. We’d love to see him in something more fancy. But you know, whatever makes him the most comfortable. 

Bess: Obviously, he’s going out for a jump aaaaaand he landed it. I was really nervous. I really truly never know what a good landing looks like. 

Grace: Apparently some landings are clean.

Bess: I think he did the quads, and he did really well, and he looks really happy. 

Grace: His nickname is quad King. So he’s pretty good at them. This is like the triple axle for women, which is the hardest move. And he’s out here doing quads for men, which is super hard.

Grace: He’s a very attractive man.

Bess: Do you want me to publish that or not? 

Grace: Yes, I think it needs to be said. People need to know.

Ice Dancing Short Program: Madison Hubbell / Zachary Donohue – 1st Place

Bess: Okay. This is … Is this ice dancing? 

Grace: Yes. Okay. We will be watching ice dancing. I believe we’re watching the short program.

Bess: I don’t know why they have the better skaters do the short program. And then the worst skaters do the long program. 

Grace: Is that true? 

Bess: Yeah. Well, because Nathan Chen did short and someone else would do long. 

Bess: Readers, if you know why the better skaters do the short program in the team event please let us know. 

Bess: Sorry guys. Peacock’s buffering. If only we had $9 and could upgrade to the no ad version. Okay, so thoughts on the outfits?

Grace: I love hers. I hate his. It kind of looks like the thriller jacket. 

Bess: I would describe this as My Chemical Romance for ice dancing actually.

Grace: Ooh, this is very funky. Are they dancing to Janet Jackson? I think it might be Janet Jackson. 

Bess: Can I just say I appreciate not dancing to classical music. 

Grace: Sometimes the classical music ones are just really boring after a while. But this is funky and fresh.

Grace: Oh, he’s swinging her. Wow. Oh, my God. Her leg looked a little iffy there, but she landed after he was holding her and swinging her. 

Bess: It was very intense. I don’t have that kind of trust with anyone.

Bess: Update: we don’t know what a clean jump looks like. 

Grace: Yeah, I think that was super clean.

Bess: Apparently the judges disagreed. The only thing I do know is that it is bad when they fall.

Bess: The ice looks super rough.

Grace: I thought they would have had to Zamboni it in between every single skater. 

Bess: Yeah, I guess not. Wow. Okay, I think the U.S. is in first place. Nice. I can’t really tell as we are only watching the U.S. right now. This event is eight hours long. 

Grace: Yes, and we have homework. 

Bess: And as mentioned, we aren’t even getting paid. We are actively losing money here.

Pairs Short Program: Alexa Knierim / Brandon Frazier – 3rd Place

Bess: What do we think about these outfits?

Grace: I love hers. His is too boring. 

Bess: I think he’s trying to copy Nathan Chen and failing.

Grace: Sorry to this man, but it’s not working for me. But hers is great.

Bess: Oh wow he is throwing her into the air.

Bess: She had a rough landing but it was fine.

Grace: She was thrown and she didn’t die. That’s always a success. She looks happy.

Grace: This music choice is interesting. 

Bess: To our viewers at home, the music is weirdly not pop but not classical. 

Grace: They’re twizzling! Yeah, their twizzles were not as clean as the previous American couple we saw, but still pretty good. 

Bess: But keep in mind they were ice dancing and this is a pairs skating, so different events. I say that like I know what that means. 

Grace: I don’t know if they’re gonna beat the other team currently. We’ll see. 

Bess: I feel like the U.S. never does well in pairs. 

Grace: Yeah, we’re not really known for that. I don’t think

Bess: They are done and have put on their custom Team USA N95 masks. 

Bess: That’s it for day one, The U.S. is in the lead with 28 points. 

Grace: Okay, so now let’s go to day two, I hope there’s more Nathan. 

Bess: There’s no Nathan on day two. So if you were reading this column for Nathan Chen, you can stop reading.

Grace: And I will not be watching. 

Bess: You will be watching. She will be watching. 

Women’s Short Program: Karen Chen – 5th place

Bess: Watching some commercials because we don’t have Peacock premium.

Grace: Did Tonya Harding make it to the Olympics? 

Bess: Yes. That was like the whole thing. She got eighth remember? Have you not seen the movie? I Tonya. 

Grace: I have, I don’t think she went to the Olympics. 

Bess: Hold on. We’re pausing while Grace realizes that I was right, and she was wrong. 

Grace: No, she didn’t. Oh, wait, no, she definitely did.

Grace: It’s Karen Chen skating right now. She is so cute. 

Bess: Okay, what do we think of her outfit? 

Grace: I love the back of her dress. She has a very strong red lip which looks really good.

Grace: This is giving me very much black swan vibes. 

Bess: Okay, she’s going for her first jump. Ooh, beautiful. Two in a row.

Grace: Oh, that is so scary. She’s spinning so fast.

Bess: I know, how is she not dizzy? 

Grace: You have to wonder, does she close her eyes? Does she find a spot and stare at it?

Bess: I don’t know. Because she’s now just skating around like it’s normal.

Grace: Oh no, she just fell. She tipped over. She fell, but she got back up again.

Bess: But she’s up and she’s smiling. She’s up, and she’s still doing great. So, she didn’t hurt herself.

Grace: I feel so bad when they fall. You know, it happens all the time. But still, I would be so upset. 

Men’s Long Program: Vincent Zhou – 3rd Place

Grace: Oh, so we won’t be seeing Nathan Chen. 

Bess: No Nathan tonight. But this is what I don’t understand, this event has more points. So why isn’t Nathan skating this? 

Grace: Oh it’s Vincent. I love this man.

Bess: What do you think of his costume? What’s on his shoulder?

Grace: I think he has a sequined dragon. He has a little black belt on. I like it. I think it fits. I like the red highlights. 

Grace: He’s going for his first jump. Beautiful, looked clean to me, though he did sort of spray some ice with his foot. 

Bess: Oh, it was not clean according to the judges.

Grace: Was that a mess up, or was it meant to be a weird little jump?

Grace: Oh, no, he did mess up, it looked like he was going for a quad or something that fell short. 

Bess: Ooh, another jump. We’re just not going to comment on if it was clean. We’re just going to wait for the professionals to tell us because we are consistently wrong. 

Grace: I will say our internet’s being really bad, which is really taking me out of the beauty of his performance. 

Bess: It’s weird how empty the Olympic Stadium is. 

Grace: Yeah, it is. The music is getting more intense. It’s a fun build. I’m excited to see his next jump. 

Grace: Oh wow, he’s doing a squat on ice.

Bess: I hate squats on the non-ice ground. Wow, imagine doing them while skating.

Grace: I cannot.

Long Program Pairs Dancing: Alexa Knierim / Brandon Frazier – 5th Place

Bess: ​​Right now they’re just warming up on the ice.

Grace: And they’re playing Ariana Grande, who we saw in Philadelphia.

Bess: That was a really great moment for us.

Grace: It was.

Grace: Oh, is this music from the greatest showmen? 

Bess: No. This is Coldplay. Yeah, this is definitely “Fix You” by Coldplay. What do we think of their outfits? 

Grace: I really love her dress. I’ve yet to be very impressed by a men’s outfit. I think Vincent’s was the best we’ve seen. 

Bess: I actually don’t like her outfit.

Grace: Oh really, wow? He just tossed her like that across the ice rink, and it was good.

Bess: Oh no, she just fell. But she’s okay. She looks mad. 

Grace: Yeah, I would be too. That’s fair. I’d be so frustrated with myself.

Bess: I don’t know why I don’t like her dress, but I don’t. I guess it kind of makes it looks like she has bruising on her stomach. 

Grace: Wow, thanks for ruining it for me. 

Grace: They’re doing that thing where they hold each other’s legs and spin. 

Bess: Oh, he threw her again.

Grace: And she didn’t fall, but she ended up in a squat instead of a clean landing.

Bess: They’re now ending their routine. She just said sorry to him.

Grace: Yeah, and it looks like he’s telling her it’s okay and patting her on the back. 

Ice Dancing Long Program: ​​Madison Chock / Evan Bates – 1st Place

Bess: Okay, here we go. These guys also competed in the last Olympics. And I think they’re dating in real life. This is the ice dancing long program.

Grace: She’s in a very bold outfit and makeup combination. They both almost look futuristic. 

Bess: The whole routine musically is kind of starting out futuristic. 

Bess: She also has a ton of highlighter on her temples and forehead.

Grace: There are voices talking in the music, it sounds like a moon landing or something. Okay, so the music’s getting more techno.

Bess: I don’t know if we’ll get the rights to put pictures of their costumes in the article, but you all should check them out. 

Grace: Ooh, the beat just dropped. And it’s very techno. Their routine is almost like modern dancing.

Bess: Which is not what you see on ice dancing normally.

Grace: They’re sort of doing more, I don’t know how to describe it. It’s kind of reminiscent of Voguing. 

Grace: Okay. Ooh, she’s right on that ice. She’s like, on his foot. Right on the ice. It was really cool. 

Bess: The music’s getting weirder. Yeah, this is a very strange routine, but I’m really into it.

Women’s Long Program: Karen Chen – 4th place

Grace: Karen Chen is competing again.

Bess: If she can compete twice, why can’t Nathan? 

Grace: Oh, she has butterfly clips in her hair and is doing a butterfly routine.

Bess: She did have a fall last time. So hopefully, she has recovered from that. 

Grace: But today’s a new day.

Bess: Today’s a new day, and I hope she doesn’t let the pressure get to her.

Grace: She has a very light purple costume on that’s very flowy. 

Bess: She just had a very nice jump. She seems to be in a good headspace, as much as one can tell by watching a live stream. 

Bess: The piece has slowed down, and it’s very ballet reminiscent. I know you’ve taken ballet. What do you think? 

Grace: I think it’s beautiful. 

Grace: She goes again. It’s clean, I’m calling it.

Bess: She’s now doing some very fast spinning. I would get so dizzy.

Grace: Same.

Bess: I’d like to thank our sponsors.

Grace: Just kidding, we don’t have any.

Bess: If you’d like to be featured in our next column please email ggriego1@swarthmore.edu.

Grace: Oh wow, she just finished.

Bess: Oh, she’s crying, hopefully from joy. 

Grace: She is crying. It was a very good routine.

Bess: Okay, now let’s see results. I think Team USA is in second place right now.

Grace: Oh wait, they are?

Bess: That’s cool. I think they just won the silver medal. I don’t think the U.S. has ever in this event before. 

Grace: Yay. Thanks for tuning in.

Bess: This has been Bess and Grace.

Grace: We’ll be back. Bess: Yeah, we’ll be back next week. Please email editor@swarthmorephoenix.com and ask them to pay for our Peacock!

1 Comment

  1. Fun article! First – Grace, your Dad has a Peacock subscription so get the info from him! Next, team ice skating is a new event – this is only the third time it has been in the Olympics. I do not think there is any other competition with team ice skating so I don’t think it is considered as prestigious or competitive as the individual events. Therefore not worth risking Nathan getting injured or getting COVID so close to the men’s individual event (which is what happened to Vincent, he tested positive and couldn’t compete in the men’s individual event!) So while Nathan is the best men’s US Skater, they only used him the one time since it was too risky to use him twice for something not as big of a deal, in my opinion! Also I have been watching ice skating since 1976 and I don’t know what is a clean jump or not unless it is really obvious! Love you both – you made me laugh!

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