Olympic skater’s ‘worst nightmare’ as dress breaks

Gabriella Papadakis in training for the short dance event, in which this costume broke seconds after the routine began

French Olympic figure skater Gabriella Papadakis has revealed that “her worst nightmare” came true when her costume broke in the middle of an event this week at the Winter Olympic Games 2018 in Pyeongchang.

Papadakis was competing with her skating partner Guillaume Cizeron, in the “short dance” element of the competition, when her gold-and-green costume (shown below) came apart, revealing her chest to the world and, she said, “putting her off [her dance] a lot”.

Despite the “wardrobe malfunction”, the duo - who are two of the best skaters in the world - continued with their routine, going on to win 81.93 points, putting them in second place for the short dance, winning them a not-insignificant silver medal.

This put them just behind the gold medal winners - and their training partners in Montreal, Canada - Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who achieved a record-breaking 83.67 points.

In a press conference after the event, Papadakis admitted that the incident was her “worst nightmare”.

“It happened in the first few seconds of our routine, so I told myself I had no choice but to keep going,” she said. “So that is what we did, and I think we can be proud of ourselves because we were able to do a great performance, despite what happened.”

Applauded by the crowd, she added: “I felt [the break] straight away, and I just prayed. What else could I do?”

“That was our attitude throughout the whole routine, but [the break] really affected us during the ‘twizzle’ [pirouettes] because when you’re spinning around, it’s difficult to keep your dress on when it’s no longer holding itself up.”

“It’s frustrating to lose points just because of a costume problem,” she said. “It’s not something you can train for. But I am proud that we managed to achieve [what we did], despite this kind of difficulty.”

Sophie Thomas, the stylist to the duo, spoke to news source 20 Minutes after the incident, admitting that she had spent the night crying, and felt “ruined” by what had happened.

“It was my huge, huge, huge worry. That something would break or come undone,” she said. “I had nightmares about it, and I thought: ‘Maybe I should sew it all together again,” but then I told myself to not be paranoid, and I didn’t want to worry them [Papadakis and Cizeron].”

She added: “We always try to double up, always. On the dress, there was not a lot of fabric, it’s true, but there were six poppers, a hook, and a zip. We always make sure it’s fastened and fastened again. Maybe one popper wasn’t done up properly, and it made all the others come off? I don’t know, but I feel ruined by this.”

The stylist reportedly sent a message of “a thousand apologies” to the duo, their coach, and their parents, but said she is “not waiting for a reply” and does not expect them to say “we don’t blame you” (it is not known if she actually received a reply or not).

She said: “I know they blame me, and rightly so. I blame myself so much. But they only got 1.74 points taken away, and their best event is the free skating anyway [not this one].”

Ahead of the Winter Olympics, Papadakis and Cizeron were favourites to win big, after winning the Cup of China in November 2017, with 200.4 points - the highest score ever achieved in a competition - and higher than the previous record of 199.86, which had been held by Virtue and Moir.

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