After 11 days of competition over the course of more than two weeks, it was time for the world’s best figure skaters to let loose.
And boy did they ever in the epic gala that was held the final day of the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Every Olympic medalist from the men’s, women’s, pairs and ice dance events at these Games — plus several others — showed off their personalities with show programs that varied from wild to romantic.
Here’s a look at some of our favorite performances from the gala.
Russian Olympic Committee’s Aleksandra Trusova, who earned silver in the women’s singles event, was fierce as Wonder Woman with one of the most acrobatic moves we’ve seen all Games, while her ROC teammates showed their sensual side.
There was also a display of backflips, a skill not allowed in competition, with skaters displaying the freedom the gala grants them.
SEE MORE: Gala: Keegan Messing performs a backflip
In true Canadian fashion, men’s competitor Keegan Messing had the crowd going with this skate to Alan Doyle’s “1, 2, 3, 4.” Messing had trouble getting to the Games, with COVID-19 and travel issues, but once there had was having the time of his life, between competing and then cheering on teammates with a giant Canadian flag.
The only other backflip of the event came from Olympic gold medalist Nathan Chen in this “Caravan” program (then he and Messing teamed up for synced backflips in the finale).
Meanwhile, some athletes took the chance to show just how crucial convincing acting abilities are to their sport.
The nerdy Anastasia Mishina landed her rock-star man — pairs partner and fellow bronze medalist Aleksandr Galliamov — in the above, while Italian ice dancer Nicole Della Monica had some choice words for hers, partner Matteo Guarise, in this Rocky Balboa/Marvin Gaye mash-up.
Another skater who used the opportunity to play a character was Georgia’s Morisi Kvitelashvili, who portrayed Genie from “Aladdin” — blue body and all. He even had a helping hand from Trusova.
Two-time men’s gold medalist (2014, 2018) Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan and newly-crowned women’s champion Anna Shcherbakova of ROC were among those who took the exhibition a bit more seriously. As did Team USA’s Vincent Zhou, who was part of the second-place U.S. squad in the team event but then tested positive for COVID-19 and was unable to compete in the men’s competition. He was thrilled by the invitation to skate on Olympic ice once more; in fact, he led off the gala.
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