GANGNEUNG, South Korea (Reuters) - French ice dancer Gabriella Papadakis on Monday was hit by a wardrobe malfunction in her costume at the start of her Olympic short dance program that threatened to bring the whole thing down.
As Papadakis and partner Guillaume Cizeron began their scorching Latin routine to Ed Sheeran music, the clasp holding her green-and-gold sequined dress together came undone.
“My worst nightmare happened at the Olympics, I felt it right away and I prayed, it was all I could do,” Papadakis told reporters.
Though the two managed to complete their routine, it was obvious that Papadakis was struggling to keep her dress up, while Cizeron also did his best to ensure it did not slip further.
“It was hard to stay concentrated after the wardrobe malfunction we suffered,” Cizeron tweeted, though they still managed to finish their program less than two points behind leaders Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada.
Fellow skaters immediately chimed in with sympathy.
“Devastating.... a costume malfunction can be such a disturbance mentally,” Meagan Duhamel, who with pairs partner Eric Radford took bronze at Pyeongchang and won gold in the team event. “I’m sad for them that this happened at this moment.”
The French skaters, however, were not alone.
South Korean ice dancers Min Yura and Alexander Gamelin had a similar mishap 10 days ago when the top of Min’s costume came unhooked.
“In the first 20-30 seconds, this hook came undone,” Min said after the short dance on Monday, pointing at the top of her flaming scarlet costume.
“It was falling off. The only thing that was holding it up was keeping my arms above here,” she said, gesturing to her shoulders.
“Alex was trying to hold it up as much as he could while we were doing our transitions and everything, but the crowd knew what was happening and they kept screaming and supporting us.
“I was thinking of stopping the program but the crowd was so amazing I just kept going.”
On Monday, she was taking no chances.
“I’m all sewed in,” she said.
“I’ve gone through here and re-sewn everything.
Reporting by Elaine Lies and Rory Carroll; Editing by Greg Stutchbury