U.S-born ice dancers Min Yura and Alexander Gamelin didn't medal in ice dancing, but, after changing their citizenship in order to compete for the host nation, received thunderous support for a performance that honored South Korean culture.
In freestyle ice dancing on Tuesday, the pair performed to "Arirang," folk music shared among Koreans for more than 600 years, performed in this instance by local pop star Sohyang. The pair of skaters also wore outfits inspired by traditional clothing known as "Hanbok," as thousands of Korean fans loudly cheered them onward.
Min and Gamelin scored 86.52 and later 61.22 in the short program for an overall mark of 147.74, putting them 18th.
The gold medal went to three-time world champions and former Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada, with a record 206.07 points, topping Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France by just 0.79 point. U.S. brother-and-sister pair Alex and Maia Shibutani took bronze with 192.58 points.
Gamelin and Min began skating together in 2015. Gamelin gained his South Korean citizenship last year. Min, who was born in California to parents from South Korea, had dual citizenship, but gave up her U.S. citizenship to compete for South Korea after making the national team.
"I'm going to remember how amazing the crowd was and the support we got," Gamelin said. "All the enthusiasm was one of the things that really got us through the whole thing. It was not a perfect skate, but I was glad that we could portray the story and the emotion. The crowd loved it."
Min agreed, saying "the whole performance was just amazing."
"These costumes are very traditional, and everybody knows what it is, it's very recognizable," she added, gesturing toward her outfit. "The whole crowd was with us, and we were with the crowd."