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How Did the Name of the "Kiss and Cry" Figure Skating Area Come About?


Jamie Salé and David Pelletier see their scores from the

Canadian, World, and Olympic pair skating champions, Jamie Salé and David Pelletier, see their first place scores from the "Kiss ancd Cry" area after they performed at the 2001 World Figure Skating Championships.

Photo by Brian Bahr - Getty Images
Question: How Did the Name of the "Kiss and Cry" Figure Skating Area Come About?
After a performance at a figure skating competition, the "Kiss and Cry" area is the place where the competitors and their coaches wait for the scores to be announced and posted. There is some history surrounding how the name "Kiss and Cry" came about. This short article tells that story.
Answer: Sonia Bianchetti Garbato was a top figure skating official with the ISU. She began her career with the ISU in 1963 and served until 1992.

Below, Bianchetti tells the following story about how the name of the "Kiss and Cry" area came about:

    'In Finland I made some very good friends and one of my best is Jane Erkko. She made me really feel at home when I was in Helsinki. Jane and I had real harmony in our views on most skating matters and she contributed a lot to the development of the sport in her country. An amusing story is that she is the one who came up with the name the “kiss and cry corner."

    One day Jane was watching an ice dance competition on TV with some young skaters in her club. In Finland in the 1970s, they did not have ice dancing. They noticed that the competitors kissed and cried while they were waiting for their marks to be displayed, and they commented on this fact.

    This expression remained a joke among the skaters and with Jane as the place where the skaters would sit down after skating their programs.

    In 1983 the World Championships were to be held in Helsinki, Jane was a member of the organizing committee. Before the championships, the television technicians make an inspection visit to the sight of the championships to establish where to place the cameras. To make things easier, Jane had prepared a big blue board with a map of the rink. The chief technician identified and marked the spots where the judges would sit, the opening in the barrier where the skaters would enter the arena and exit after the competition. It was a space decorated with flowers and a seating area. He asked, "What is that?” Jane very naturally answered, "The kiss and cry corner.” He then took his pen and wrote on the board: KISS AND CRY. This name happened to be so appropriate that it has remained ever since and is officially used to define the corner.'

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