Adam Rippon had done! He played perfect FS performance “Arrival of the Birds / Exodus (from The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos), impressed his unique beauty at the Olympic stage. The music is from nature documentary film, however, his flamingo is not so natural, but rather dreamy and surreal like a fantasy bird.
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I respect art performance beyond gender ideology and have been studying about the cultural history and the essence of the beauty. After Sochi Olympic, I wrote a master’s thesis and an essay on cross-gender performance in men’s single figure stating in winter Olympics in the early 21st century. In my study I suggested swan as beautiful and aggressive image, or positive “Gender Trouble” (Judith Butler) metaphor, by showing the examples of unforgettable performances by Alexei Urmanov, Evgeni Plushenko, Johnny Weir, etc.
I believe Adam Rippon as one of the most successful cross-gender performance skater. And fans would expect him elegant and delicate aspect rather than dynamic power. He also selected a bird as his motif, however, not Swan, but Flamingo! In this meaning, I respect his creativity. He opened the new era of figure skating cross-gender performance. His acrobatic movement, flexibility, high level spin technique, and body shape itself can create the new fictional flamingo image, so light, cheerful, energetic, and free.
Rippon challenged Quad Lutz jump at USA Championships. Unfortunately, he fell the jump and didn’t include it in Team Event FS. I rather expect his Flaming’s perfect flight without falling also at individual game in this Olympic. However, I know his Flamingo possesses and seals much higher ability possibility, and fly further.
Yuka Aihara, Gender-Crossing in Men’s Single Figure Stating ―Focused on Performances in Olympics in the Early 21st Century―, Nihon University, Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies