South Korea is hosting the Winter Olympics, and one of the most popular sports in the prestigious events is figure skating. It’s no surprise because it combines athletics and artistry, and figure skating fans always look forward to what music the skaters will use.
Of course, with South Korea as the Olympic host country, figure skating fans and K-Pop fans alike have joked about figure skaters using K-Pop as music for their competitive programs this Olympic season. None of the Olympians may be skating to K-Pop competitively, but the past few seasons, fortunately, gave us K-Pop on ice for ice shows and exhibition programs.
We list some of our favorite K-Pop on ice moments across various figure skating disciplines.
Kim Jinseo (Korea) – Growl (EXO)
If we’re being real here, the two-time South Korean national champion (and actual love of this writer’s life) reminded us of EXO’s Chanyeol when we first saw him at the 2014 World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama. We found it fitting that he skated to EXO’s hit “Growl” at All That Skate 2014 and at the 2015 Four Continents Championships in Seoul. We love how Jinseo incorporated the actual choreography to his program, and it gets bonus points for using the iconic “chogiwa” introduction from “Wolf.” It will go down as one of the most iconic K-Pop on ice moments in K-Pop fans’ hearts.
Lee Junehyoung (Korea) – Pick Me (Produce 101)
K-Pop and figure skating fans were expecting someone from Team Korea to skate to the Produce 101 season 2 theme song, and the three-time national champion didn’t disappoint. Junehyoung uses both the slow piano version and the actual song. He even includes choreography from the show’s first season! This is our one-pick as the most iconic exhibition program of this generation. Junehyoung also stars in the music video for Yoon Jongshin’s “Slow Starter,” the January release for the singer’s monthly project.
Misha Ge (Uzbekistan) – I’m Young (Nam Taehyun, South Club/ex-Winner)
Outside Team Korea, Misha is also known for skating to K-Pop in his exhibition programs. He has skated to mostly YG artists such as Big Bang and PSY, which show off his fun and quirky side. We especially enjoyed his All That Skate 2016 program to “I’m Young,” which showcases Misha’s more somber and artistic side. You can also check out his other K-Pop covers on his YouTube channel!
Kim Yuna (Korea) – Nobody (Wonder Girls)
Figure skating queen Kim Yuna is truly a pioneer for skating in so many ways, including skating to K-Pop. Here, she skated to Wonder Girls’ “Nobody” with adorable little children. With how well she pulled off the moves and her singing ability, we have good reason to believe that Queen Yuna missed her calling as a K-Pop idol to be one of figure skating’s all-time legends.
Evgenia Medvedeva (Russia) – Monster (EXO)
Fans all over the world freaked out when they found out that the reigning two-time World Champion likes K-Pop and anime. Reminding us all that she’s still a teenager despite practically winning everything, Evgenia has expressed being a fan of Sailor Moon and has posted covers of herself dancing to K-Pop songs, including EXO’s “Monster.”
Hongo Rika (Japan) – Boombayah / Whistle (BlackPink)
Figure skating fans are aware that the two-time Four Continents bronze medalist is a K-Pop fan. One look at her Instagram following list shows that she likes Girls’ Generation, EXO, f(x), Red Velvet, BTS, and actress Park Shinhye. She was bound to make K-Pop on ice happen sooner or later, and she can definitely pass as BlackPink’s missing member.
You Young (Korea) – I am the Best (2NE1)
Korea’s reigning two-time national champion shows off her fun side in her exhibition program this season. Tagged as one of the future superstars of Korean skating, Young got her first national title at 11 years old in 2016. This makes her the youngest to ever win the title. (Kim Yuna was 12 years old when she won her first national title in 2003.) At 13 years old, she is too young (pun unintended) to compete at Pyeongchang. However, we will keep an eye on her in the next four years leading to the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. For now, we’ll just let her have fun skating.
Kim Hanul (Korea) – New Face (PSY)
Hanul has been relatively under the radar compared to some other lady skaters in the past. However, she has really come into her own this season that she ended up taking one of the two ladies’ spots to represent the host country at the Olympics. Hanul shows off her fun-loving, charismatic side as she skates to PSY’s “New Face” as an exhibition program this season.
Min Yuna / Alexander Gamelin (Korea) – Bang Bang Bang (BIGBANG) x I am the Best (2NE1)
We applaud Min Yura and Alex Gamelin for being the only skaters to skate to K-Pop as a competitive program. We also applaud their creativity to use “Bang Bang Bang” and “I am the Best” for last season’s mandatory hip-hop rhythm. They deserve a medal for being pioneers of taking K-Pop on ice to the competitive level. They get bonus points for also skating to BIGBANG and 2NE1’s “Lollipop” for their exhibition program this year and for throwing candy at the audience.
Bonus Tip: If they qualify for the free dance at the Olympics (fingers crossed!), watch out for their program set to singer Sohyang’s rendition of “Arirang.”
Aleksandra Stepanova / Ivan Bukin (Russia) – Trouble Maker (Trouble Maker)
We’re not going to lie. We were pleasantly surprised to hear the familiar whistling to “Troublemaker” at 2016 Skate Canada. We’re guessing that at least one of the two-time Europeans bronze medalists likes K-Pop. Even though they didn’t incorporate any of the original choreography, their program was still fun to watch. We were sorely disappointed that they had changed their exhibition program by the time we next saw them at 2016 Cup of China a month later.
Kyueun Kim/Alex Kangchan Kam (Korea) – I am the Best (2NE1) x Red Flavor (Red Velvet)
With “Red Flavor” being one of Korea’s favorite songs in 2017, we were expecting someone to skate to it at the Olympics. The pairs national champions didn’t disappoint. To make things even funnier, they incorporated the “double sunglasses” meme that Alex had been recognized as throughout the Olympics.
Festa on Ice 2010 female cast members – Run Devil Run (Girls’ Generation)
“Run Devil Run” is all about getting revenge on a cheating ex, and it is fitting that Festa on Ice used this song for the all-girl group number which included Kim Yuna, Shae-Lynn Bourne, Kiira Korpi, Zhang Dan, and Kwak Minjeong. These ladies were some of then the biggest names in figure skating (and a potential rising star in Minjeong’s case) at Festa on Ice 2010.
All That Skate 2016 Cast – Tonight (SPICA)
Although SPICA ended up disbanding, “Tonight” is one of the group’s most memorable songs. It’s probably the most popular song they had as a group because it was chosen as a finale song three years after its release (when the more popular option would have been to use a song that came out in 2016).
All That Skate 2011 Cast – Bad Girl Good Girl (Miss A)
Ice shows usually perform an encore number using whatever is the most popular song at the time. In this case, All That Skate invited Miss A to perform at the event. It was a treat to watch Kim Yuna and the rest of the All that Skate 2011 Spring cast dance to Miss A’s hits such as “Bad Girl Good Girl” and “Breathe.” (For real though, Stephane Lambiel’s shoulder shimmies are the highlight of that finale number.)
Park Soyoun, Ahn Sohyun, Lim Eunsoo, You Young (Korea) – Cheer Up (Twice)
Soyoun (gray top and denim shorts), Sohyun (black fringed top and white shorts), Eunsoo (red top and denim shorts), and Young (mesh top, black shirt, and silvery gray skirt) are among those tagged as the future of Korea’s skating, and we’re happy to say that they have all lived up to expectations in some way. They performed “Cheer Up,” which was probably 2016’s national anthem at All that Skate 2016. They all have the visuals and talent that they can be mistaken for an up and coming girl group ready to steal the nation’s hearts.
With K-Pop’s increasing popularity all over the world and the inevitability of the athletes hearing K-Pop during the Olympics at Pyeongchang, we won’t be surprised if more figure skaters start joining the fandom and grant us more K-Pop on ice moments. We are so going to be here for that.
Are there any other K-Pop on ice moments that we missed?