Canada’s ice dancing team of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir debuted a modified free dance on Monday morning at the Olympic team skating event after their original program had been deemed too provocative.
Midway through their old routine, which won them their eighth Canadian championship last month, Virtue jumped up on Moir, who twisted her around until she was sitting on his shoulders and grabbing the back of his head while straddling his face. After two rotations, Moir brought Virtue down to waist level and spun her around before gently placing her down on the ice.
Neither skater would specifically state that the tweak in the routine (Moir is now on Virtue’s shoulders for only an instant before dismounting) was made for family-friendly reasons. But it was easy to read between the lines. Moir told The Toronto Star:
“What it came down to, actually was that when we slowed it down and looked on the video, it wasn’t aesthetically that beautiful of a position, so we wanted to change it, make it a little bit better.”
Olympic judging is notoriously old-fashioned. (Look how long it took them to allow music with vocals.) The Canadians were always likely to change their routine and using “aesthetics” as an excuse sounds better than “these old fuddy-duddys couldn’t handle our momentarily R-rated routine.”
The pair, who served as joint flag-bearers on Friday night, won gold medal at their home Olympics in 2010 and backed it up with silver in 2014. They’ve said that 2018 will be their final Winter Games.
Canada won gold in the team event, giving Virtue and Moir their record-tying fourth figure skating medal. They will try for a history-making fifth medal next week in the individual ice dancing competition. Aesthetically, of course.