Sure, the technical skills are important, but when it comes to Olympic ice dancing, a killer soundtrack never hurts. On Sunday (Feb. 6) in Beijing, American pair Madison Chock and Evan Bates blasted onto the podium stand in the free dance team event thanks to a thrilling routine cued to a medley of songs from Daft Punk‘s fourth and final album, 2013’s Random Access Memories.
The three-time U.S. champs went all in, with an eye-popping routine that had Bates playing an astronaut in a blue space suit and Chock taking on the role of an extraterrestrial in a shimmery silver outfit. The pair’s theatrical display included bits of the tracks “Contact,” “Touch” and “Within,” and the combination of their flawless artistry and the thrilling music helped lift the two beyond the world’s reigning champs — Japan — and rise from bronze to a silver medal finish, the U.S.’s best result since the event debuted at the 2014 games.
While most of the other pairs in the team competition stuck with the traditional mix of orchestral arrangements of pop songs or classical pieces — including The Beatles’ “The Long and Winding Road,” Fearless Soul’s cover of Coldplay’s “Fix You” and selections by Rachmaninoff and Tan Dun (The Banquet) — the uncommon soundtrack has become the signature sound for the U.S. pair, who also skate to a medley of Billie Eilish songs including “Myboi,” “Therefore I Am” and “Bad Guy.”
Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, broke up in 2021 after 28 years together.
Watch footage of their routine on YouTube.