French ice dancers Guillaume Cizeron and Gabriella Papadakis were nearly undone by one of the worst things that can ever happen to performers — in this case Olympic athletes being judged on their precision — mid-show: the dreaded wardrobe malfunction.
Papadakis’ costume came undone early on during the pair’s short dance routine Monday (which aired here Sunday). Her dress’s top strap appeared to come unclasped from around her neck, and it resulted in part of her left breast, a la Janet Jackson at the 2004 Super Bowl, being briefly exposed on the ice.
But like a true competitor, the skater kept her poise, and the pair went on to grab the silver medal.
The strap flap did lead to a deduction, but the pair’s overall performance pushed them well ahead of the bronze medalists — though still a ways away from the gold medalists from Canada, Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue.
Afterward both French skaters discussed the unfortunate mishap with the media.
“My costume opened up,” said Papadakis, 22, who became teary-eyed. “It was difficult. It’s the first time that something like that happened. I tried to stay focused and finish without anything [else happening].”
Cizeron, 23, said it was frustrating to lose a few points over something out of their control.
“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,” Cizeron told the press. “And we just look forward to a new day tomorrow and we have our chances to win and we’ll just do our best.”
He said the wardrobe malfunction stuck in their minds throughout their routine.
“I think the twizzles [a move in ice dancing] is the only thing that kind of affected us the most because, you know, when you rotate it’s kind of hard to keep your dress on when it’s open,” he said.
Papadakis’ dress was obviously the hot topic after the routine, and a gathering press wanted to know all about it, peppering the couple with questions. Finally, one reporter decided to go in another direction of questioning.
And Cizeron could not have been happier.
“Thank you for not talking about the dress anymore,” he said. “We do what inspires us, and we really try to create programs that we can have fun with,” Cizeron said of their performance, “and I think it is, it has to be different from what other skaters have done before. We’ve got to keep the sport modern and new, and that’s what is exciting about figure skating as well and ice dancing particularly.”
Figure skating at these Olympics had already seen one wardrobe malfunction, which also involved a dress disconnecting in the back. In a more intentionally scandalous vein, there was the super-sexy maneuver that Canadians Moir and Virtue toned down ahead of the competition, though they still brought plenty of heat en route to their gold medal finish.
Content Warning: This video is censored so as to not be explicit, but does contain a pixelated bare breast.