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France's Olympic Pairs Team Skated to Ed Sheeran, Because Why Not?

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Sometimes Olympic competitors accomplish incredible athletic feats as we look on in awe and other times they're just like us, jamming to Ed Sheeran. Only when they do it, it's on an international stage for an audience of millions.

French pairs figure skating team Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres presented their short program in Pyeongchang Tuesday, and they took the ice to a song by Sheeran called "Make It Rain."

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- MLADEN ANTONOV/Getty
MLADEN ANTONOV/Getty

While the choice of music may seem unconventional when compared to those of their competitors (the Chinese team currently in first skated to "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen while the American team skated to "Come What May" from musical Moulin Rouge), it's not unusual for France. Just last year, James and Cipres skated to The Weeknd's "Earned It" in a Fifty Shades of Grey–themed routine, complete with bondage-like outfits and moves that would make Christian Grey himself swoon.

This is a historic Olympic skating year when it comes to music because Pyeongchang is the first Olympics to allow skaters to compete to music with lyrics, and one look at the French pairs team shows that the athletes are taking full advantage.

- JOE KLAMAR/Getty
JOE KLAMAR/Getty

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The rules surrounding the freedom to choose more unconventional music became more flexible since 2014 when the International Skating Union gave skaters permission to play music with lyrics. However, the rule did not go into effect until after the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, so 2018 is the first year where it has translated to the Olympics.

James and Cipres are currently in sixth place after the short program and they'll skate a free program to "Sound of Silence" arranged by M. Rodriguez on Wednesday night to determine their overall Olympic placement. With a throw quad salchow planned for the program, one thing's certain: Even without Ed Sheeran music, their routine will not be boring.

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