Not Just for Girls: Men’s Figure Skating

Not Just for Girls: Meg’s Favorite

Men’s Figure Skating Routines

By: Meg Humphrey

I have a bad case of Olympic Fever! I’ve followed competitive figure skating off and on since I was a little girl. Men’s figure skating has always been my choice to watch – it seems like they do more dynamic routines and I tend to enjoy their musical choices better. Although few of my absolute favorites have achieved gold medal status, it never diminished their standings in my eyes. Here’s a brief list of my favorite figure skaters (and my favorite of their routines)!

Outside of NKOTB, Elvis Stojko of Canada was my first crush. Like his namesake, he brought attitude to the ice. He wore leather, focused on athleticism (he was the first skater to land a quadruple toe, double toe in competition – a feat not repeated for another five years), and used a lot of elements from his martial arts training in his skating.  I was devastated when, in 1994, he had to miss the Tacoma performance of Stars on Ice. It was a great show, but I had to wait another 13 years before I saw him perform live. Let’s watch him skate to Fatboy Slim because it’s precious.

Jeffrey Buttle, also from Canada (what can I say, they have ice sports down), was a long time favorite of mine when I got back into skating during high school. I remember during Japanese class we were doing one-on-one oral interviews and we could quietly watch the Olympics when he won the bronze medal in 2006. Unlike Stojko, Buttle’s primary focus was on artistry and always scored exceptionally in that category. He’s retired from competitive skating, but he does exhibitions around the world (he is very popular in Japan), plays on a hockey team, and choreographs for many skaters including Canada’s current Olympic favorite, Patrick Chan. His exhibition to “Sunglasses at Night” makes me smile every time I watch it!

FINALLY an American, Evan Lysacek, caught my eye in 2005 with his debut into the amateur ranks (for clarification “amateur” refers to the competitive level above juniors and is the level at which skaters participate in ISU events and the Olympics). I loved all of his programs that year – his short was “Espana Cani,” his long was “Singin’ in the Rain,” and his exhibition to Michael Buble’s “Sway.” His career became hugely successful over the next several years, accumulating in the Olympic Gold Medal in 2010. One of my favorite things about him is that he’s one of the best at balancing athleticism and artistry. My favorite routine is his “Carmen” freeskate that he used in 2006 and 2007. Dat straightline footwork sequence!!

Also, this list wouldn’t be complete without Canadian Kurt Browning. Fantastic entertainer, great personality, and still one of the most prominent faces in skating despite being out of amateur skating after the 93-94 season. Please watch him skate to “Brickhouse” in shiny pants.

Special shout out to two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Evgeni Plushenko. He was never one of my favorites, but his exhibition routine to “Sex Bomb” by Tom Jones is one of the best things ever done on skates: