Music and sports are often intertwined, whether it’s background music for a workout or a crucial part of an actual competition.

In some Olympic sports, it’s the latter. Figure skating comes to mind first. The music that skaters choose to accompany their performances can be just as important as their jumps and twirls.

American ice dancers Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue know that well. Music can be the soundtrack that judges and audiences hear. It sets the tone and the mood of the performance.

Skiers also rely on music while they hit the slopes. According to Colby Stevenson, half the field has some tunes in their ears as they compete. It serves as background noise to calm the nerves, or a way to quiet the self talk. 

In Day 5’s episode of The Podium, Hubbell, Donohue and Stevens talk about the importance of music in their respective sports, and Hubbell and Donohue expand on the process of picking the right song for a performance.

You can find new episodes of The Podium on Apple Podcasts.