Edge Crunch
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Edge Crunch

Figure skaters to cheer for during the Beijing Olympics

Agree if you want to stay friends.

If you’re going to watch figure skating at the Olympics but you don’t know much about the athletes, this post is for you. You know you wanna have taste. You’re too smart to blindly follow the whims of Johnny and Tara. So you’re gonna blindly follow my whims instead and get emotionally invested in these eight competitors.

1. Wenjing Sui & Cong Han | China | Pairs

If you watch nothing else during the Olympics, watch the Chinese pairs duo Wenjing Sui and Cong Han. They are the best skaters by a mile — beautifully lyrical, technically impressive. Watch how high and far Wenjing travels on throw jumps. They’re also hilarious. Wenjing is the empress of the skating universe and somehow, fifteen years ago, she managed to find a man worthy of skating with her. The pair have overcome serious injuries and never failed to be devoted to skating for each other (or making fun of each other). If they don’t win gold, we riot.

2. Nathan Chen | USA | Mens

You better show out for the best American figure skater since Michelle Kwan. Over the last six years, Nathan Chen has pushed men’s skating beyond its limits. His technical abilities are the best in the game. If he skates perfectly (and, since 2018, he has been pretty consistent — KNOCK ON WOOD), he should win gold. Be careful, though, what you say online as you cheer him on. There is a very devoted segment of FS fans who hate him and they will destroy your mentions.

3. Shoma Uno | Japan | Mens

Shoma, silver medalist from the last Olympics, is a tiny velvet ball of contradictions. Quiet and sleepy off the ice and the king of Big Drama on the ice. He’s an incredible skater with deep knees and edges. He’s technically impressive when he remembers his combos and also has a really lovely musical interpretation skills.

4. Wakaba Higuchi | Japan | Ladies

Speaking of the Kween, Wakaba’s presence and skating skills are most reminiscent of golden-era Michelle Kwan. She’s also got a giant triple axel. She’s always CRIMINALLY underscored, but I’d give her a gold medal. Unfortunately there’s probably an 80% all the medals go to Russian teens so the trick to ladies skating these days is to just pretend the standings start after the Russians. So with that scoring system in mind, GIVE WAKA GOLD.

5. Ashley Cain-Gribble & Timothy LeDuc | USA | Pairs

Timothy is the first out, non-binary winter Olympic athlete. That alone should be enough to make you be a fan. But they’re also great skaters (for a US pairs team) with interesting programs and good technical skills.

6. Olivia Smart & Adrian Diaz | Spain | Ice Dance

Two words: Sword fighting. Ice dance can, to me, be very boring and too lovey. So shoutout to these two for bringing in some fresh dramaaaa for their Zoro free dance.

7. Sasha Trusova | Russia | Ladies

Ok I know, I know, I said ignore the Russian ladies BUT there’s one particularly wild one you should cheer for. Trusova is unlikely to be THE winner, but she’s terrifying. She’s so competitive and determined. She tries the hardest technical skills of any other girls (which means she usually falls a lot). But she’s pushing the envelope hard and she deserves your attention (and fear). Also if (when) she wins a medal we must demand one of her fifty dogs join her on the podium.

8. Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker | USA | Ice Dance

As fate would have it, the most interesting and fun U.S. dance team is the one without any real medal chance. Jean-Luc in particular really shines which we love to see from a male ice dancer. They’re funny and charming. Kaitlin’s a DJ in her spare time.

Thanks for reading and cheering for my faves! If you’re a devout fan mad about my taste, maybe you’re just insecure about your own :)

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Samantha Harrington

Samantha Harrington

Freelance journo and designer. I write. A lot. Tea obsessed but need coffee to live. Usually dancing- poorly.