French ice dancer Gabriella Papadakis’ “worst nightmare” came to fruition at the Winter Olympics on Monday night when her costume came undone during qualifying.
Papadakis, 22, had just begun her short dance routine with partner Guillaume Cizeron when her top appeared to come unclasped from around her neck, exposing her breast.
She said she “felt (it) right away and prayed” as she valiantly continued through the mishap to qualify in second place with a score of 81.93 for Tuesday’s penultimate round.
“It was pretty distracting,” Papadakis said after her performance.
“My worst nightmare at the Olympics. I told myself ‘you have to keep going’.
“That’s what we did, and we have to be proud of ourselves, delivering a great performance with that happening.”
Cizeron, 23, who took nearly all the couple’s questions from reporters after their skate, said it was frustrating to lose points over a costume malfunction.
One part of the figure skating scoring system is judged on costume and the aesthetics of the performance – meaning the French pair were penalised for the incident.
It’s not what we get ready for when we train. But you know, I’m so proud that we managed to pull out a program like that even with a difficulty like this.
“And we just look forward to a new day tomorrow and we have our chances to win, and we’ll just do our best.”
Despite the penalisation, only the Canadian pair of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir bested the French duo, scoring a total of 83.67.
Other skaters rallied behind Papadakis on social media, with 2014 gold medalist Meryl Davis tweeting: “My heart is broken for G/G today. For something like a costume malfunction to hinder this moment for them is utterly devastating.”
Devestating …. a costume malfunction can be such a disturbance mentally. I’m sad for them that this happened at this moment. 🙁
— Meagan Duhamel (@mhjd_85) February 19, 2018
Canadian skater Meagan Duhamel replied to Davis, saying: “Devestating [sic] …. a costume malfunction can be such a disturbance mentally. I’m sad for them that this happened at this moment. :-(”
The wardrobe malfunction is the second such incident to occur at the Pyeongchang Games, with South Korean ice dancer Yura Min suffering a similar dress failure last week.