GANGNEUNG, South Korea - You could exhaust a dictionary's supply of superlatives to describe what happened in the Olympic pairs short program Wednesday, and it would be a thoroughly justified verbal outpouring.
From the utterly breathtaking brilliance of winners Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China to the exuberance with which North Koreans Tae Ok Ryom and Ju Sik Kim threw off all the political and historical weight on their shoulders for the performance of a lifetime, there never has been so much relentless excellence at a pairs competition in a global championship.
"The level of skating was a pure joy to watch," said two-time Olympic singles champion Katarina Witt, a commentator for German TV. "The quality of the lifts and throws and jumps was so high.
"It was sport at a high level and entertainment at a high level, particularly with the variety of music used -- from Ed Sheeran to the Beatles to Tchaikovsky."
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