Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 12

In today’s dispatch from Sochi, the women’s figure skating competition was narrowed down from 30 competitors to 24, who will go on to skate for medals tomorrow. I just watched all 30 short programs, and was amazed by the beauty and athleticism of these women. I really couldn’t get over quite how flexible they all are, and how they could effortlessly contort themselves into seemingly impossible positions.

In motion, they mostly looks beautiful, but a still shot is painful to look at. Shoulder sockets seem to have come loose, necks bend at grotesque angles, and all limbs seem like they’re about to come flying off of bodies. Let’s marvel at the flexibility of these amazing athletes, and try to figure out how they even got themselves out of those poses.

1. Elena Glebova, Estonia

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 12

 

That shoulder!

2. So Youn Park, Korea

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 12

How do you breathe in that position?

3. Natalia Popova, Ukraine

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 12

Ack.

4. Gabrielle Daleman, Canada

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 12

My muscles are straining just looking at this. Just kidding, I don’t have any muscles.

5. Kim Haejin, South Korea

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 12

There’s no way out from that position. She’s going to be like that forever.

6. Jenna McCorkle, Great Britain

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 12Then, she sliced her ear off with her skate.

7. Brooklee Han, Australia

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 12

Those joints are not typical.

8. Polina Edmunds, United States

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 12

How does this look easy? She’s just dragging her body around by a skate.

9. Yuna Kim, South Korea

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 12If I can be honest here, I actually cried during Kim’s performance. As in I was moved by the beauty.

10. Kanako Murakami, Japan

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 12This is also called “torture pose” in yoga.

 11. Akiko Suzuki, Japan

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 12

I’m never going to get tired of watching them throw their leg back and grab it.

12. Valentina Marchei, Italy

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 12

Never.

13. Gracie Gold, USA

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 12

Can you do that?

14. Yulia Lipnitskaya, Russia

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 12

This angel is 15-years-old. For good measure:

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 12

15. Ashley Wagner, United States

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 12

This just looks so deeply painful.

Photos: Getty Images