For anyone who isn't regularly keyed into the sport, Olympic figure skating can surface a lot of questions. What are those green and yellow boxes? What is a triple axel? Where did Adam Rippon learn witchcraft? What the hell is a "Kiss & Cry"?
That last one is a question that's popped up while skaters are waiting for their score. They skate off the ice and sit in a box with their coaches, and their coaches are often wearing a plastic badge that reads "Kiss & Cry." The badge is their pass for the "Kiss & Cry" area, which is the 100% real name of the scoring box in figure skating.
It's the box where skaters await the judges' scores, and it's named after what skaters might do when those scores finally arrive.
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A 2014 Slate article on the history of the Kiss & Cry notes the term was coined by Finnish official Jane Erkko more than 30 years ago, according to the book Cracked Ice: Figure Skating's Inner World by former skating judge Sonia Bianchetti Garbato. As you might expect, Erkko noticed skaters were kissing and crying in the box, and it became "a joke among the skaters and with Jane," wrote Garbato.
It became more entrenched in 1983 when CBS was broadcasting the 1983 World Figure Skating Championships. Erkko told a producer the area was called "the kiss and cry corner." According to Garbato, the producer wrote down "KISS & CRY" on the map for the TV crew, and that was the first time reactions were broadcast from the Kiss & Cry.
It's a construction other sports should consider. When snowboarders are waiting for their scores, the could stand in the "Accidentally Swear on Live TV" area. Hockey could have the "What Did I Do?" box for penalties. Ski Jumping could adopt the "Woo-Hoo I Didn't Break Anything" zone.
h/t Slate via Time
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