U.S. figure skaters mixed on adding lyrics for next season

Jason Brown
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Figure skaters have the option of performing to vocal music with lyrics next season, but top U.S. skaters aren’t committing to change just yet.

Olympians Jason BrownGracie Gold and Polina Edmunds said they would stick to music without lyrics for next season.

“I have no idea how people are going to utilize it and what they’re going to do,” Brown said, taking a wait-and-see approach.

Brown’s coach, Kori Ade, told The New York Times in February that she thought the idea would come off “really corny” and was afraid people would attempt it poorly, making the sport “look even stupider.”

The reigning U.S. champion Gold said she wants to see how judges react to the skaters who do skate to vocal music before she gives it a shot.

“We’ll let people experiment before me,” Gold said, “but maybe in a couple years.”

Edmunds said she had not thought about the new International Skating Union rule, which goes into effect for men, women and pairs. It had already been allowed in ice dance.

“But I think I’m going to keep it the classic way,” Edmunds said. “I think it’ll be interesting to see what everyone does with it.”

Two-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner, with more senior experience than Brown, Gold and Edmunds, said she hasn’t decided if she will embrace the change yet.

“I think that it really is going to require a fine balance,” she said. “It needs to be done tastefully. I’m just so traditional when it comes to figure skating. Yeah, it’ll be awesome to have that extra choice. We’ll see. I think it would be really cool to bring some classic rock in with the lyrics. That would be really awesome. It would bring in a new crowd to figure skating.”

One skater bursting with excitement is Josh Farris, the 2013 world junior champion who finished fourth at the U.S. Championships in January. Farris is considering John Mayer or Jason Mraz songs.

“I really want to [skate to lyrics],” he said. “I’ve been talking with my coaches about it. I think it’s a great idea. I want to do something that’s light hearted.”

But Farris also cautioned.

“I think I need to get opinions of the officials,” he said.

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