Special Reports

February 17, 2014

Figure skaters can be the Winter Games’ best — and at times, worst — dressed athletes

Although the sport requires tremendous athleticism, figure skating is, at the end of the day, a show. The best skaters are great actors because they make what they’re doing look easy. That is particularly true of ice dancing, which has grown in popularity because of shows like Dancing with the Stars. Olympians perform spectacularly difficult moves bedazzled in Swarovski crystals, feathers, bridal lace, netting, and rhinestones. A typical skating dress for an Olympian can be covered in up to 40,000 beads and cost $1,000 to $5,000.

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