The 2018 Winter Olympics has seen figure skaters take the ice to everything from Beethoven to Beyoncé. Soundtracks have also proved popular, with Moulin Rouge, Game of Thrones, and La La Land turning up on skaters’ playlists.
But, as the New York Daily News reports, German figure skater Nicole Schott raised eyebrows with her selection on Thursday night: the score from Schindler’s List. Schott skated to music from Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning Holocaust drama, and though she didn’t place, her performance certainly made an impression on social media.
Many felt that the film reference was inappropriate for the competition, citing Schott’s German background. Saturday Night Live cast member and Olympics correspondent Leslie Jones was among those taken aback.
— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) February 23, 2018
— Karen Gesell (@Karen_Gesell) February 23, 2018
— Wonderful Time (@wonderfultime) February 23, 2018
German figure skater performing to music from Schindler’s List. Thats…not the choice I’d go with. pic.twitter.com/0B0B3YK9uS
— Sarah (@BookishFeminist) February 23, 2018
— Space Orchid (@SpaceOrchid8) February 23, 2018
Nicole Schott is a German woman skating to Schindler's List. that feels real fucked up #Olympics
— ashley osterer (@ayoalo) February 23, 2018
German figure skater, Nicole Schott, decided to skate to the score of Schindler's List…
In case you’ve never seen it, Schindler’s List is a gut-wrenching movie about the Holocaust, and Nazi Germany.
…did I mention that she’s German?!?
I think I’m about to throw up. pic.twitter.com/WkeFUItDNj
— Brenna Simon (@BrennaSimonSays) February 23, 2018
Others defended Schott’s choice to do her free skate to John Williams’s Oscar-winning score, suggesting that it was intended as a tribute to the legacy of Oskar Schindler, who was German. Many also noted that other figure skaters — including Germany’s Katarina Witt in 1994 (the year after the film was released) and Russia’s Yulia Lipnitskaya in 2014 — have performed to the same music. Both Witt and Lipnitskaya wore red in a nod to the little girl in the red coat from the film.
— Melanie Von Nibelungen (@PrairieFolkMama) February 23, 2018
A german figure skater is being slammed for performing to #SchindlersList.
Everyone gets upset about that, yet doesn't realize that multiple German athletes performed to it since 1994 (excluding non-germans).
It is part of Germanys rememberance culture – we confront the past.
— Upgraded LeechLive (@L1veLeech) February 23, 2018
I get why people would be upset that a German skater chose #schindlerslist as her music however let's not forget Oskar Schindler was also a German and a member of the Nazi Party who was responsible for saving over a thousand Jews….The List is Life… #Olympics #PyeongChang2018
— Renée Whitfield (@ReneeNWhitfield) February 23, 2018
stupid. Katarina Witt, one of s most celebrated skaters, skated 2 the Schindlers List theme dressed in a red dress 2 represent the girl in the red coat. It was incredibly moving. People need 2 understand performance art b4 they decide 2 tweet bull https://t.co/ssnhXI4fzM
— PopRag (@PopRag) February 23, 2018
The performance also prompted questions about the line between tribute and tastelessness in addressing important and highly sensitive issues. Take, for example, this controversial Holocaust-themed skate in another competition.
The German who skated to Schindler’s List tonight at the Olympics reminds me of a clip I found in Nov 2016. Tatyana Navka, the wife of Putin's powerful spokesman Dmitry Peskov, did a Holocaust themed skating performance during a tv competition in Russia. pic.twitter.com/XxVRn6GeIV
— Yashar Ali (@yashar) February 23, 2018
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