'Jurassic Park's Weird History With The Olympics

Dinosaurs plus skating equals ... awkwardness.
'Jurassic Park's Weird History With The Olympics

The winter Olympics is still a thing that’s happening, apparently – and what better way to honor the hard work of American athletes than by shoehorning them into a confusing commercial in which they’re forced to engage with a bunch of CGI dinosaurs to promote a movie that doesn’t come out for another four months? 

Yeah, the Olympics are on NBC, which is owned by NBCUniversal, who made the upcoming Jurassic World: Dominion, hence why we got this bizarre cross-promotional commercial in which real-life Olympians like Shaun White and Nathan Chen bump into a bunch of dino clones while trying to practice alone in the wilderness.

Most oddly, at one point, skier and two-time gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin is threatened by a velociraptor, and later a T-Rex. But, for some reason, the majestic theme music continues playing, which just makes it seem like John Williams is super-pleased that this young woman is about to be disemboweled on a ski hill. 

It’s kind of surprising that any Olympic athlete (especially a skater) would want to participate in a project featuring the Jurassic Park theme. While not officially the thing that is to the Olympics what Macbeth is to the theatre, the franchise’s signature music doesn’t exactly have the best history with the games; specifically it was once used by a scandal-plagued Tonya Harding in 1994.

Harding began using the Jurassic Park score for accompaniment back in ‘93 when Spielberg’s blockbuster was first released. Even then, prior to her then-husband’s infamous attack on Nancy Kerrigan, The New York Times snarkily remarked that the troubled skater possibly used the music because “if fictional dinosaurs can be resurrected, so can her unfulfilled career.” 

Harding skated in the ‘94 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, just a month after the assault on Kerrigan. In one of the most notorious moments of her career, later re-staged in the movie I, Tonya, Harding showed up late to her skate and had to tearfully cut it short due to a broken lace. All while the music from Jurassic Park echoed throughout the rink.

And the opening of the routine didn’t use any familiar themes; it was the discordant, unsettling part of the score that plays at the beginning when a random employee gets violently devoured by a raptor. Which inadvertently, provided the perfect accompaniment for the uncomfortable moment. Harding was granted a re-skate by the judges due to a broken lace. Her Jurassic Park-backed skate came in eighth, which may or may not prove Chaos Theory. 

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Top Image: NBCUniversal


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