How Ballet Will Sneak Its Way Into the Olympics

November 28, 2001

I have a love/hate relationship with figure skating. Part of me roots for the fact that it’s fairly artistic—it’s the closest thing to dance I’ll ever see at the Olympics. (PS: I’m obsessed with all things Olympics.) On the other hand, I’m always cringing at skaters’ lines and sloppy limbs. And then there are the long programs set to music from Swan Lake accompanied by bad, feathery costumes, which are truly hard to watch.

Every once in a while, though, a figure skater takes my breath away. Ukrainian Oksana Baiul was famous for starting out as a ballet dancer. I loved Michelle Kwan’s dancer-like lyricism. American Sasha Cohen had incredibly long, beautiful lines; I always wondered what she would look like on pointe. And now there’s Gracie Gold, who won the US Figure Skating Championships and will compete at this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi. Her skating is clean and effortless—thanks to the two ballet classes she says she takes each week.

Check out the free skate (set to a Sleeping Beauty medley) that qualified Gold for the Games, below. We’ll be watching, Gracie!