As you are surely aware, if you watch any network TV, the Winter Olympics in Beijing kick off on February 3rd. I have several questions about the wisdom of this, many of which are echoed by this recent New York Times piece that’s literally like, “we have a lot of questions about these Olympics.”  Hoo boy, the IOC is really something! China’s got a lot going on right now vis a vis human rights that is highly questionable! There’s a pandemic! Etc. And yet, yes, I will watch. I am locked in my home and these athletes are impressively speedy. And, of course, the figure skating brings us joy. It’s the oldest sport performed at the Winter Olympics! (Having said that, I have never been less informed about the current state of Skating Affairs than I am right now, and I shall depend on you all to keep me up to date on any current scuttlebutt or gossip.) While we wait for the games to begin, please join me on this trip in the Wayback Machine to eyeball many many MANY MANY figure skating costumes of the past century. Let me warn you: there are ruffles afoot, but also a plethora of Wiki Deep Dives and plenty of skating scandale and legit romance and tragedy.

PS: As ever, you can catch up with our figure-skating archives here and our past Olympics coverage here.

[Photos: Colorsport/Shutterstock, Eric Gay/AP/Shutterstock, Amy Sancetta/AP/Shutterstock, Mark Baker/AP/Shutterstock, Lionel Cironneau/AP/Shutterstock, Doug Mills/AP/Shutterstock, Roberto Borea/AP/Shutterstock, Marcy Nighswander/AP/Shutterstock, Kevork Djansezian/AP/Shutterstock, Matt Dunham/AP/Shutterstock, Mark Lennihan/AP/Shutterstock, Thomas Kienzle/AP/Shutterstock, Dave Caulkin/AP/Shutterstock, Eric Draper/AP/Shutterstock, Rick Bowmer/AP/Shutterstock, AP/Shutterstock, Jim Pringle/AP/Shutterstock, Underwood Archives/UIG/Shutterstock, Anonymous/AP/Shutterstock, David Longstreath/AP/Shutterstock, John Redman/AP/Shutterstock, Massimo Sambucetti/AP/Shutterstock, Steve Simon/AP/Shutterstock, Michael Nash/AP/Shutterstock, Green/AP/Shutterstock]