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
2. So Youn Park, Korea
How do you breathe in that position?
3. Natalia Popova, Ukraine
4. Gabrielle Daleman, Canada
My muscles are straining just looking at this. Just kidding, I don’t have any muscles.
5. Kim Haejin, South Korea
There’s no way out from that position. She’s going to be like that forever.
6. Jenna McCorkle, Great Britain
Then, she sliced her ear off with her skate.
7. Brooklee Han, Australia
Those joints are not typical.
8. Polina Edmunds, United States
How does this look easy? She’s just dragging her body around by a skate.
9. Yuna Kim, South Korea
10. Kanako Murakami, Japan
11. Akiko Suzuki, Japan
I’m never going to get tired of watching them throw their leg back and grab it.
12. Valentina Marchei, Italy
13. Gracie Gold, USA
Can you do that?
14. Yulia Lipnitskaya, Russia
This angel is 15-years-old. For good measure:
15. Ashley Wagner, United States
This just looks so deeply painful.
Photos: Getty Images