The split-second photography that takes place during figure skating doesn’t always lend itself to make the men and women of the intense sport beautiful. Take Canada’s bronze-medal winner in Pyeongchang, Kaetlyn Osmond, for instance.
She wowed judges and audiences with her skill and technique, and making one move when she had her skate so far behind her back she could grab it with both hands. It looks like she was being controlled by another, but while the moment makes for a funny image, the move itself went off without a hitch, earning Osmond the bronze and a great memory to share with friends.
A Close Shave
North Korea's Ryom Tae Ok grits her teeth as she swings near the ice as her partner, Kim Ju Sik, nearly dropped her during their figure skating performance. It's a grim reminder that even at such a high level, mistakes will happen. It's likely this pair wasn't performing at the highest level – they didn't reach the podium, and thanks to some late paperwork, the pair almost didn't perform at all.
If Kim Ju Sik had lowered Ryom Tae Ok any lower, this could have ended much differently. There was a lot of pressure on these performers since the Olympics took place in Pyeongchang.
Taking to the Skies
There’s always one name that takes the Olympics by storm, no matter when or where they’re held. In 2018 it was Russian figure skater Alina Zagitova who dominated the singles figure skating.
Not only did she come away with the gold medal, but at only fifteen years old, she made history by setting the record for the highest score in a “short” program. Zagitova will certainly go on to bigger and better things, and in the meantime, we get to enjoy a picture of her practically horizontal over the ice during her routine. This high-flying skater has nowhere to go but up.
A Bird's Eye View of a Fall
What do you think is going on in this picture? Is Evan Bates, the male half of this American figure-skating duo, so strong that he can carry his partner Madison Chock in his arms while doing his entire routine? We’re afraid not - this is actually the moment of a bad spill during their routine.
Figure skaters are used to falling while they perform, so likely they didn’t get any bad injuries, but there’s no way around it: the judges aren’t going to like that. And they didn’t - Madison and Evan got ninth overall, though another pair of Americans did get the bronze in ice dancing.
An Audacious Move
Now here’s a pose for you to wonder over. A pair of British Olympians - Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland - had their worlds turned upside-down when they pulled off this move in the Figure Skating Pairs competition.
Coomes’s legs are fully wrapped around Buckland’s neck, which makes us wonder what would have happened if Buckland had lost his balance. No doubt it would have resulted in some pretty bad injuries for Coomes, but thankfully Buckland stayed upright, and the move didn’t result in any injuries. The balance and poise required to pull off this move is something to marvel at.