A report in the New York Times has indicated that a wardrobe malfunction occurred during a mixed figure skating performance at the 2018 winter Olympics.
Yura Min and her ice dancing partner Alexander Gamelin overcame many obstacles to get to the Olympics. Unfortunately, their first performance on the ice brought another obstacle. Min’s outfit could not stay fastened.
This past Sunday, the two took to the ice in search of a gold medal. But just seconds into the routine, the back of Min’s outfit became unhooked.
Min told the Detroit Free Press that if that back part became undone, the whole outfit could come off. Being a pro, Min had to improvise and modify the choreography by keeping her shoulders high.
After the two finished their routine, Min told the Associated Press that she also needed to keep her back straight to avoid the dress from falling off.
There was a sequence where the pair began doing a series of twirls on one foot. This caused Min’s outfit to start slipping down. She was forced to stop and pull it back up. This reduced their score.
This malfunction is very rare because athletes practice with the outfits they plan on wearing, according to Barbara Delaney-Smith. Delaney-Smith has taught figure skating for 40 years.
During a phone interview on that Sunday, Delaney-Smith added that “stuff happens” during competition and you just have to go with the flow. Everyone remembers the Super Bowl when Janet Jackson had that wardrobe malfunction.
Vera Wang, who has designed and created figure skating costumes for the last 20 years, told People Magazine: “If one strap were to break, or if the beading on the sleeve gets caught when they turn, their whole Olympics is over. That is how serious it is. It’s absolutely nightmarish!”
For elite-level competitions such as the Olympics, there is a team of seamstresses that make last-minute adjustments to outfits. But it’s on the skaters to improvise if a malfunction occurs. Unfortunately so much can go wrong that the easiest and safest thing to do is just stop and adjust.
Min was in good spirits after the incident. She took to Twitter and vowed to sew herself in for the individual event in which she will be competing. She also thanked the audience for encouraging the pair to keep going until the end.