Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won gold for Canada in the Winter Olympic Ice Dancing program this week and, because we are human beings who love gossip and in sport, much of the attention moved away from their performance and to their relationship.
That inspired one journalist to find out if bumping uglies had any effect on the scores that ice dancing pairs receive and, drawing a long bow, it might - but it seems unlikely.
If you're not familiar with ice dancing, that's alright - I am with you. The event is largely unheard of unless the Winter Olympics roll around. The discipline of figure skating has been a part of the Olympic program since 1976 and takes most of its cues from ballroom dancing.
Except, it's on ice. With deadly blades attached to the bottom of dancers feet.
As ice dancing features intimate moments, holds and draws on a more elegant artistry than figure skating, it's no surprise that pairs of dancers often catch the public interest more for what they do off the ice, than on it. Ice dancing revolves a pantomime that needs to look and feel real because it is scored on how well a pair conveys a story.
You can even see that with shows like Dancing With The Stars, where the tabloids are less interested in the dancing and more interested in whether or not the pairs are intimately entwined.
I guess it just sells more papers.
Over at Slate, Rose Eveleth has been doing God's Work and asked the question as to whether or not some horizontal refreshment with your ice dancing partner actually contributed to success.
At first glance, it would appear that this isn't the case - that there is no tangible benefit to a bit of 'how's your father' with your ice dancing partner. Eveleth took the free dance scores of those in relationships and compared them with those in platonic relationships and found nothing of interest. The scores for both data sets were almost identical. When Eveleth separated the total score into technical points - how well they skate - and artistry points - how much flair and passion they skate with - she also found no huge difference.
However, she did use an interesting case study of Madison Chock and Evan Bates, who were not dating when they competed in 2014, but were dating at this years Olympics. We have to make a lot of assumptions to come to a conclusion that bonking helps with their own scores at PyeongChang this year, but their artistry scores did improve by almost three points.
The caveat is they also had four years to get better at skating, so it's all a bit non-scientific, but in the best way.
You can read the full investigation at Slate, by clicking the link below.
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