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French Olympic Ice Skater Has 'Nightmare' Wardrobe Malfunction

While Ed Sheeran crooned about the shape of some unknown woman, French Olympic ice skater Gabriella Papadakis was struggling to keep her own shape under wraps.

Seconds into the routine, Papadakis said she felt the emerald collar of her costume become unhooked behind her neck. Apparently, the fabric of her bejeweled outfit pushed and pulled the opposite of the way a magnet do. [Hint: Ed Sheeran lyrics.] And despite her best efforts to keep the audience from discovering something brand new, her left breast was eventually exposed on live television.

She later told reporters it was her "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," she added.

The incident was broadcast live but NBC told The Associated Press that as soon as the brief wardrobe issue became evident, the network switched to using wider camera shots and "carefully selected replays to keep the issue obscured."

The video also has been re-edited for all television encores and online replays.

It is the second wardrobe malfunction of the Pyeongchang Winter Games. Figure skater Yura Min, an American skating for South Korea, nearly lost the top of her skimpy costume. The back of Min's red leotard came unclasped seconds into her short program with partner Alex Gamelin. But Min altered the routine and made it all the way through without any major mishap.

Min was praised by judges for her quick thinking, and she made a joke of it on the sidelines of the rink, posting a funny GIF on Twitter with the caption "Oopsie."

Still, Papadakis and her partner, Guillaume Cizeron, skated well enough in their short program to place second behind Canadian duo Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.

Despite the French couple's high score — 81.93 — it's unclear whether they were penalized for the wardrobe issue. USA Today reports that losing any part of a costume, even a hair clip, can lead to a one-point deduction.

Papadakis left the rink on the verge of tears and avoided reporters following the pair's performance.

"It's a little bit frustrating to know that it's not because of something that we did," Cizeron said. "It's just a costume issue, something as stupid as that, so it's a little bit disappointing."

But, the New York Post reported, "she was in better spirits an hour later, when she no doubt realized that her chance of a gold medal was still intact."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Vanessa Romo is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers breaking news on a wide range of topics, weighing in daily on everything from immigration and the treatment of migrant children, to a war-crimes trial where a witness claimed he was the actual killer, to an alleged sex cult. She has also covered the occasional cat-clinging-to-the-hood-of-a-car story.

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