Kristi Yamaguchi, Brian Boitano, Todd Eldredge, Kimmie Meissner, and siblings John and Sinead Kerr are all superstar skating Olympians with an impressive resume of spectacular moves on the ice.
But this morning, viewers watched as the group undertook a special mission: to go undercover for “Good Morning America” and convince people that they were ice skating novices.
The undercover operation unfolded in the middle of a skating class at the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park in Manhattan. "GMA" brought together audience members and college students for the class Thursday morning.
Wearing disguises that altered the appearance of their bodies and even their gender, the elite skaters took to the ice and hesitated, wobbled and demonstrated general ineptitude. Their apparent difficulties convinced their unsuspecting classmates.
After a while, an announcer asked the public to clear the ice and then the six Olympians stayed behind, revealing their skill with a spectacular group routine.
Jaws dropped. People pointed and applauded. One girl gushed: “I’m literally freaking out. ... I skated with them.”
After the big reveal, John Kerr talked about the effort required to pull off the trick, saying: “It was almost hard to pretend you couldn’t skate because it was almost tough on your muscles.”
Eldredge said his struggles prompted an offer of help from the coach. Although he declined, but said “she just kept coming over because she obviously could tell I wasn’t moving too well.”
Sinead Kerr also received offers for assistance.
“A couple of times people were trying to help and I was like, ‘Oh, I feel bad,’” she said.
Her brother said he actually knew a few people at the venue.
“So I was trying to shield myself from them. But I think a few of them were starting to get wind of it, so you know. It was fun,” he said.
The Olympians will shed their disguises when they appear in the first special of the Colgate Skating Series, "Musselmans Apple Sauce Family Skating Tribute," on Sunday at 3 p.m., EST, on ABC.