During a routine at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games, a figure skater suffered an eye-popping wardrobe malfunction. Although it happened at the very outset of her performance, she kept on going. However, it was clear that she skated the remainder of her program with tremendous difficulty, trying the whole time not to expose herself during the live televised event.
The elite athletes who compete in the Olympics are the best in the world. They make every sacrifice imaginable to be at the top of their game in order to compete against other world-class athletes from around the globe when the Olympics roll around every four years.
In preparation to compete at the world’s most prestigious sporting event, every precaution is taken. Hours upon hours are spent conditioning. Equipment is double and triple-checked. Music is honed and costumes are gone over with a fine-toothed comb to ensure they will hold up under pressure.
However, there is no way to completely rule out the chance mishap. Sometimes, mistakes get made. Accidents happen. One figure skater who is making her Olympic debut this year was hit with that painful reality during her very first performance of the Pyeongchang Olympic games.
South Korean Olympic figure skater Yura Min’s costume malfunctioned during her routine at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games, forcing her to ad-lib and skate her program with her arms back in order to prevent an embarrassing situation, according to Biz Pac Review.
“Five seconds into the routine, my hook came undone,” said Min. “I was like, ‘Oh no!’ If that comes undone, the whole thing could just pop off. I was terrified the entire program.”
Min suddenly found herself faced with an impossible decision. She could continue skating and risk exposing herself to the entire world during a live televised event or stop in the middle of her routine to fix her clasp, but get a deduction in points. Like a true professional, she risked it all to keep going, doing the best that she possibly could under the circumstances.
“I didn’t stop,” she said. “I went from the beginning to the end. I didn’t stop because you get a deduction if you stop in the middle of a program. In my head, I was thinking, ‘Is it better to stop and fix it and get the deduction or keep going?'” she recalled.
“This is my first Olympics, our first program and if my top were to come down, that would have been a disaster,” said Min. “I was very nervous that the entire thing was going to come off.”
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“Anytime she brought her shoulders in, it came down,” said Min’s partner, Alexander Gamelin. “I only noticed it halfway through. During our twizzle, it came off her shoulder, all of the way. She had to stop and pull it back up and that cost us a bunch of points. It wasn’t because we were skating poorly.”
According to Detroit Free Press, Min and Gamelin received 51.97 points and placed ninth out of ten teams. “Obviously, there were some things she couldn’t do because her costume came undone,” explained Gamelin. “She had to fix it a couple of times. I think the skating was good.”
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In retrospect, Min and Gamelin are both glad the costume malfunction happened in the team event. They can now focus on the individual pairs competition, which begins February 18. “If this was our only shot, I’d be devastated,” said Min.
Indeed, it’s difficult to fathom making it all the way to the Olympics only to have an unforeseeable costume malfunction ruin your shot at victory.
Surprisingly, in the individual competition, Min plans to wear the same costume. However, she won’t be taking any chances. They won’t just fix the hook — they plan to sew that costume together.