All That Glitters Could Be Gold
Costumes play important role in a figure skater's performance.
By Anne Leitheiser, Scholastic Kids Press Corps
Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukov, who have been skating together for five years, talked to the Scholastic Kids Press Corps about the role that costumes have played in their careers. Gregory's ice-dancing career even began with her attraction to the cute outfits.
"I started skating when I was really young and I went to the rink and saw the costumes on the wall," said Gregory. She visited a rink where her cousin skated. The rink owners displayed the costumes the skaters would be wearing at the competitions. "The only way that I got to wear the pretty costume was if I was in the ice show, so I said OK, let's do it, and I signed up for classes."
Gregory and Petukov joined other members of the U.S. Olympic skating team at a demonstration of the new scoring system for figure-skating. The demonstration was part of a media summit held in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in October. Journalists were treated to a look at the costumes skaters are planning for their Olympic performances.
"We also put on the little extra things that make us look special on ice," said Petukov.
"We know what looks good on us," added Gregory. "You have to take into consideration what looks good on the ice in a big arena in strong lights in front of a big crowd."
Figure-skating costumes help convey the theme of the skater's performance. Many costumes help explain the emotions of the dance.
Figure-skater Kimmie Meissner, who at 16 years old is one of the top contenders for a U.S. medal this year, showed off her new costume of red silk and gold spangles. She says her costume will help her connect with the audience during her performance. A strong reaction from the audience is essential to a strong rating from the judges.
"If you're really into what you're doing, then the audience is going to be into it too," Meissner said. The performers who put as much thought into their costumes as their acting and their skating will win the medals.