France's ice dance team had just begun their short routine during their Olympic debut, when Gabriella Papadakis' dress came undone. But like true professionals, she and her partner, Guillaume Cizeron, continued on with the show, even landing second place in the competition despite the major wardrobe malfunction.
"My costume opened up," Papadakis said following the performance. "It was difficult. It's the first time that something like that happened. I tried to stay focused and finish without anything [else happening]."
At the beginning of their performance, which was set to Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" and "Thinking Out Loud," the clasp on Papadakis' halter dress came undone. In the clip, you can see her occasionally hold her top up as she skates tentatively throughout the rest of the songs.
Despite the obstacle, Papadakis and Cizeron landed second place behind four-time Olympic medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada, with a gap of just 1.74 points between them.
"It was a great performance considering the costume issue," Cizeron said, and added that he felt they'd have done a lot better without the mishap. "That is not something you get ready for in your mind when you start the program. It is hard to stay focused."
Papadakis' broken clasp garnered attention online after her top slipped down, showing way more than the ice dancer intended. NSFW photos of the athlete were posted online, which people are now asking to be taken down out of respect for Papadakis. The Olympic Broadcasting System is also being criticized for airing a slow motion replay of the mishap, which shows Papadakis' exposed breast.
"Ummmm, just saying, a director at the OBS (Olympic Broadcasting System) totally chose those slow motion replays," tweeted Kyle Shewfelt, a three-time Olympic gymnast from Canada. "That nip slip of Gabriella Papadakis at the end did not have to be included. How very disrespectful."
But mostly, fans didn't want Papadakis' hard work to be boiled down to a wardrobe malfunction — and a lot of people were very impressed by how the ice dancer remained calm and focused throughout the entire ordeal.
"Watched back the Papadakis/Cizeron short dance and I DO NOT know how Gabby kept her cool," NBC reporter Nick McCarvel tweeted. "Total poise and mental power. And still gave a standout performance."
U.S. Olympic figure skater Meryl Davis commented that she couldn't believe this was the pair's first Winter Games.
Sometimes I forget this is Papadakis/Cizeron's first Games... such a magic about them. They've already made such an impact on the sport of ice dance even before their first Olympics[.]
Despite keeping her cool, Papadakis described the incident as her "worst nightmare" when talking to reporters.
It was pretty distracting, kind of my worst nightmare happening at the Olympics. I told myself: "I don't have a choice. I have to keep going." And that's what we did. I think we can be proud of ourselves being able to deliver a great performance with that happening.
When she felt her costume fall, Papadakis said that she started praying.
I felt it right away and I prayed, it was all I could do.
A lot of ice skating fans questioned what the Olympic Committee's rules are concerning these kinds of wardrobe malfunctions. Ice Talk podcast host Jackie Wong shared Rule 515, which defines the kind of "adverse conditions" that require athletes to stop their program. While "damage to his/their clothing" falls under the definition, people online are debating whether or not the team made the right call to keep going.
Could have fixed it in program, but would've been bad for PCS, or if it took >10sec to fix it, would've been -1.00 - so she left it.
Wong wrote that he didn't consider the mishap to fall under "adverse conditions," to which someone replied:
I'd guess 99% of women would consider a malfunction baring a breast to be an adverse condition.
Despite the minor setback, Papadakis and Cizeron will take to the ice again on Monday to compete in the free dance event.
Correction: A previous headline mischaracterized the results of the ice dancing short program. It has been updated to accurately reflect the results.