United States Olympic figure skater Bradie Tennell fell in the women's short program on Tuesday night, stunning her fans across the world. As NBC Olympics reporter Nick McCarvel put it on Twitter, "That was NOT what we expected from Bradie Tennell out of the gates..."
Figure skaters crash, collide, and fall all the time. Falls are expected and accepted in this particularly intense and potentially dangerous physical activity. But when it comes to Tennell, there is a reason why people were shocked by her fall. NBC's Nick Zaccari gave a brief explanation as to why it was so startling and appalling to see Tennell fall in the early part of the women's short program. Here's a recording of her slip from NBC Olympics.
"Bradie Tennell's fall on her opening combination was her first fall in 34 jumping passes in four main competitions this season. She was the only elite international skater to come into the Olympics without a fall," Zaccardi tweeted on Tuesday night.
Given such a stunning and flawless record prior to her Tuesday night slip, Tennell's fans couldn't believe their eyes. On social media, one "shook" Twitter user said the athlete's fall was a "violation" of the "fundamental rules of robotics." But ultimately, Tennell's fall seemed to humanize the almost-perfect figure skater, and people wished her well.
Tennell's PyeongChang record kept surfacing in people's reactions.
2. Support From Fans
"You did do it. You can do it. You will do it," Twitter user J. Kim tweeted to Tennell.
3. "You Tried Your Hardest"
Many Twitter users tweeted at the athlete, sharing words of encouragement. This Twitter user said, "Going first must be really hard and there is probably a lot of pressure. No matter what, you tried your hardest and I hope you see the best from this experience."
4. "Felt So Bad"
Tennell's fans empathized with her post-fall.
5. Still Lovin' Tennell
"Even with the fall, [Tennell's] performance was beautiful."
6. "Unlucky Stumble"
She'll wow her viewers like she does in no time.
7. Hold Your Head High
Tennell's fans did not let her fall define her as an athlete. "You. Are. Still. An. Olympian," Twitter user Stefani Schutz said.
8. Still Proud of Tennell
Tennell's fall was initially shocking but her fans quickly cheered her on and said that the remaining of her performance was a "clean [and] captivating routine to follow."
Chris Schleicher said, "Bradie Tennell falling on her opening jump is so shocking it feels like it violates one of the fundamental rules of robotics? Strong throughout the rest of the program but I am still shook."
10. Still Startling
Jackie Pepper tweeted, "I’ve been watching Bradie Tennell for months and had not seen her fall once. I’m shocked that it happened in her #Olympics debut. Hopefully that got the nerves all the way out."
11. Shocked In Japanese
Even some Japanese-speaking viewers were stunned by Tennell's fall. One Twitter user tweeted in Japanese about the stumble which roughly translated to "Bradie Tennell missed."
12. Time To Move On
Some of Tennell's viewers said that it was best not to dwell on the stumble and move on.
13. An Understandable Fall
Another Twitter user said that going first in any kind of competition can be daunting and intimidating but that Tennell "still has more skates to perform and she can always come back."
Still, it was hard to believe Tennell stumbled early in her program.
15. She Still "Pushed Through"
While it was "disappointing" to see her fall, one Twitter user commended Tennell's effort to recover quickly.
All in all, her stumble on Tuesday night might have been shocking to some but Tennell's fans couldn't help but be impressed by her resolve to keep going. That's pure ambition.