Something about ice skating's romantic music, intimate choreography, tight costumes, and Kamasutra-esque lifts makes the sport surprisingly sexy.
When you're watching pairs figure skating, it's impossible not to project some kind of narrative about the skaters being a real couple. But actually, some of the pairs that skate together are also couples in real life.
Considering the pairs skating short program falls right on Valentine's Day this year, things are probably going to get steamy on the ice (sorry) this time around. So, in the spirit of V-Day cheesiness, ahead are the figure skaters who are in a relationship off the ice — and probably going to have a better Valentine's Day than you.
Follow our new Instagram account in partnership with NBC Sports, @OnHerTurf, for the best from women in sports, on and off the field.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates
Technically, Madison Chock and Evan Bates have been together as a skating duo since 2011, and have been friends for over a decade. But in 2015, Bates confessed his love and they sealed the deal as a couple. "I pretty much told Maddie that I loved her," Bates told TODAY
. Chock says that their relationship has made their daily life more special: "We’re working together, working towards the same things," she told NBC
. "When you’re doing that with someone that you love, it really is so much more meaningful."
Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim
The road to PyeongChang was bumpy for married couple Alexa and Chris Knierim. Right before their Sochi bid, Chris broke his leg. Then, in 2015, Alexa developed a gastrointestinal illness, and had to have surgery, which kept the pair sidelined for the 2016-2017 season. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune
, Alexa said these setbacks have helped them learn to communicate effectively as a couple. "If one of us is upset after a mistake, instead of saying, 'Can you have a better attitude?' or 'Can you not react so negatively?' we’ve learned [to] go about it a different way," she said. "It’s like, 'What can I do to help you?' Or you just lend a supportive hand."
Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov
If you've ever watched a pairs skating program and gritted your teeth imagining what would happen if a skater sliced their partner, well, that actually happened to real-life couple
Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov last year. Despite the very serious cut, Tarasova brushed it off and went back on the ice, and her partner Morozov called her a "hero." Talk about trust.
Miriam Ziegler and Severin Kiefer
Austrian couple Miriam Ziegler and Severin Kiefer have been skating together since 2013, and Severin says they've figured out ways to keep things totally professional on the ice. "We have a pretty good way of separating our on ice partnership with what we have away from skating, and don't let problems that occur on the ice interfere with our relationship off the ice," he told an ice skating blog in 2015
. And when they're not laced up in skates, he says they have similar taste in music and movies, and they love to cook together.
Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland
Team Great Britain ice dancers Penny Coomes
and Nick Buckland started dating after they became skating partners in 2005. According to their website
, they both love the restaurant Nando's and enjoy watching the show The Inbetweeners
. PyeongChang marks their third Olympic Games together, and after coming off of a few serious injuries, they're definitely a couple to watch this year.
Marie-Jade Lauriault and Roman Le Gac
This French couple is known for their extreme flexibility and jaw-dropping lifts. In 2015, they got married, after working together for only a year. Lauriault said they try their best to separate work and their relationship, according to HelloGiggles
. "We try to separate our relationship as partners and as a married couple," she said. "It helps because we know each other much better because we're always together, but we don’t talk to each other on the ice the same way we do off the ice."