Olympic ice skaters Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron have provided one of the most-talked about moments of the Winter Olympics so far though it was for all the wrong reasons.
The French duo were competing in the short dance ice skating event in Pyeongchang when the worst imaginable thing – other than death by ice skate or getting your fingers chopped off on the ice – happened.
Skating along, keen to perfect their routine, the 22-year-old Gabriella suffered the most epic of wardrobe malfunctions when her green dress accidentally snapped at the neck during the early stages of the dance.
It left the skater dangerously exposed for the majority of the routine, much to the amazement of the watching world.
Gabriella, to her credit, did not let the issue faze her during the routine, with the two-time world champion skating on regardless and putting in a great display in the process – not like that.
And despite the disruption, duo still managed to gain level-four marks for all their elements.
Speaking afterward the incident, she said: “It was pretty distracting.
“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.”
Despite the setback, Gabriella and Guillaume earned themselves plenty of plaudits online, with Twitter awash with comments on the incident and messages of sympathy and support for the French pair.
They should just give #GabriellaPAPADAKIS a medal for finishing her program sans costume like a CHAMP.
— AmandaRenee (@29mangos) February 19, 2018
— Kris (@KrispyKhicken) February 19, 2018
My heart is broken for G/G today. For something like a costume malfunction to hinder this moment for them is utterly devastating. #pyeongchang2018
— Meryl Davis (@Meryl_Davis) February 19, 2018
And while it may have represented something of a nightmare for broadcasters and Olympic organisers alike, the incident undoubtedly provided the Games with a much-needed shot in the arm amid underwhelming viewing figures.
Papadakis will return to the free dance narrowly off the lead after earning 81.93 points and has already began preparations for the event.
Regardless of whether she wins Gold or not, it’s fair to say Gabriella has earned plenty of fans and plaudits for her approach on what must have been a stressful and most likely highly upsetting incident. We’re Team Gabriella from here on out.
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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.