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Figure Skater Ilia Malinin's Free Skate Program to 'Sucession' Theme Song Makes History

world figure skating championships 2024 men free skating
Figure Skater's 'Succession' Free Skate Wins BigAnadolu - Getty Images

At the World Figure Skating Championship in Montreal this weekend, American teenager Ilia Malinin made history.

During his free skate program, Malinin, who is just 19 years old, landed six quads, receiving a record 227.79 points—the highest score in history. Per NBC Sports, Malinin landed "the best collection of jumps in one program in figure skating history... a quadruple Axel, quad Lutz, quad loop, quad Salchow, another quad Lutz and a quad toe loop, then finished his four-minute skate with a a triple Lutz-triple Axel finale."

During his skate, an NBC commentator noted, "So appropriate skating to Succession: It is his time tonight."

Many online, too, took note of Malinin's bold music choice. The Succession title song was composed by Nicholas Britell in 2018, combining classical music and hip hop. "I wanted to explore the idea of 'If the Roy family could imagine their own music, what music would that be?'" he said in an interview with NME. "I started to theorize that it would be this really dark, classical sound."

Britell continues, "Every era has its own musical grammar. If you look back at the late 1700s, there were certain musical conventions that the public of the time were enamored with. In Succession, it was fun to explore these things. In the late classical era, composers would have used a culminating moment towards the end of a piece. To me, when I hear [the Succession theme], it has a feeling of drama but also a momentous becoming. Like you’re on the periphery of something happening."

After Malinin's victory, Britell congratulated Malinin on Instagram, and reshared a post on X (formerly Twitter) that read, "quad axel to the succession theme? this absolute diva"


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