The Winter Olympics have served up incredible drama over the years as the best snow and ice athletes in the world compete for gold.
Along with the high-octane drama, there were also a few embarrassing moments – and ones the athletes themselves couldn’t have foreseen.
From wardrobe malfunctions to daring tricks gone wrong, top-level sport can be an unforgiving place. No athlete wants anything to go wrong, let alone anything on the biggest stage of them all as the current games continue in Beijing.
From Steven Bradbury’s ultimate skating for gold to the snowboarding blunders that ruined dreams of Olympic glory, the games have had it all.
So what happened and why did these embarrassing moments go down in history?
figure skating briefs
French figure skater Gabriella Papadakis was left disappointed at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics when she accidentally exposed her nipple.
Papadakis was going for gold in her ice dance routine with partner Guillaume Cizeron when what she described as her ‘worst nightmare’ happened and the pair finished second, after the clasp on their uniform broke about 10 seconds after the start of the routine.
It is unfortunate that after years of training, talent development and many personal sacrifices, an athlete is on trial for a wardrobe malfunction during the Winter Olympics.
However, the talented pair have a chance to rectify their misfortune at their ice dancing event on February 12 at 11 a.m.
Sochi Olympic rings do not open
Unveiling the Olympic rings is a chance for a country to show off to the world, but things didn’t quite go to plan for Russia at Sochi 2014.
It has become a tradition of Olympic opening ceremonies to unveil the famous rings in an enchanting manner.
Do you remember the dust show in China in 2008? Or when London revealed Rings of Fire with the help of Industrial Revolution and Kenneth Brannagh in 2012?
Things didn’t quite plan out in what was otherwise an impressive ceremony when one of the Russian rings failed to open properly.
Lindsey Jacobellis snowboard fall
We’ve heard of the phrase ‘fallen at the last hurdle’ but a more accurate representation of what happened to American snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis would be ‘fallen into a pile of snow’.
It was unfortunate, but as the American approached the final stages of the snowboard cross event – a straight run over jumps and turns down the mountain – she was miles ahead.
Seeing she was so far ahead, she attempted a mid-air party trick that knocked her down and came home second.
Lindsey finally found redemption 16 years later, winning gold in the same event this year.
Steven Bradbury wins gold
Steven Bradbury showed that you should never give up.
It might just be the most famous of all the amazing Winter Olympics moments down the years, and happened in 2002 when the Australian short track speed skater entered the final lap of the race firmly at last place and with no chance of a medal.
The four skaters in front of him then collided and all fell on the very last corner of the race. Bradbury simply skated and, as the only man standing, won the gold medal.
Bradbury had overcome a broken neck in training two years before and an accident in 1995 when he was accidentally cut by another skater and lost a torrent of blood. His injury required more than 100 stitches.
A story of sporting triumph, but embarrassing for the four skaters who fell.
Who was Eddie the Eagle?
Michael David Edwards, better known as Eddie the Eagle, rose to fame for competing for Great Britain in the ski jumping event.
Eddie wasn’t the best at the sport, to put it mildly, but ended up competing for Team GB at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. He was the last to get cold in his two events.
Some people thought his performance diminished the effort and skill of his fellow competitors, while others simply thought he showed true Olympic spirit.
As a result of Eddie qualifying for the games, the ‘Eddie the Eagle Rule’ was established meaning an athlete must be in the top 30% of all competitors in the world, or in the top 50.