German figure skater mocked for performing to 'Schindler's List' score

Nicole Schott’s free skate has sparked controversy. (Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)
Nicole Schott’s free skate has sparked controversy. (Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)

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.

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.



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.

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