Mystery solved: What the heck is the 'Kiss and Cry'

What is the “kiss and cry?”

You’ve probably heard the announcers refer to it several times during figure skating. Not to mention the phrase is printed all over the figure skating coach’s and family member’s credentials.

But what does it mean? Is it some kind of insider, ice skating jargon like a triple-salchow or the twizzle? Is it a social commentary on the perils of the Olympics, the ups and downs, the dramatically thin line between gold, silver, bronze and bubkis?

Or maybe is it referring to every single one of my previous romantic relationships?

Well, back in the early 1980s, when neon and scrunchies were a lifestyle not a fashion statement, and flocks of seagulls ruled not only the beaches but also the airwaves, figure skaters would finish a routine, exit the ice and meet their coaches and family members in an area with a couch that was called, uh, well, it was called the place with the couch.

But now, in 2018, that couch-place is known as the “Kiss and Cry” area.

Evgenia Medvedeva took the silver medal with 238.26 points while skating as Tolstoy’s tragic Anna Karenina. (NBC Live/screenshot)

According to the 2004 book Cracked Ice: Figure Skating’s Inner World by former skating judge Sonia Bianchetti Garbato of Italy, “kiss and cry” was coined by a Finnish skating official named Jane Erkko.

Can ya guess why?

Garbato theorizes that Erkko noticed every time a skater went off the ice to that area, they kissed their family and coaches, and then everyone cried.

In 1983 at the World Figure Skating Championships, Jane Erkko was organizing the committee for the event.

According to Garbato, after speaking with TV producers and a chief technician about camera placement and mapping the arena’s different areas, the technician asked Erkko what the spot just off the ice with all the flowers was called.

“The kiss and cry corner”, Jane answered quite obviously.

The technician wrote “KISS AND CRY” in all caps on the map and the term stuck.

Kissing and crying is precisely what’s happened there ever since, even Leslie Jones gets it:

(Parental Advisory: Adult language below)

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