Ice dancing (and IRL) couple Madison Chock and Evan Bates fell hard during last night's free skate competition, NBC reports. Despite their well-received short program the night before, the pair ultimately fell into ninth place.
Falling rarely happens in ice dancing, making the crash all the more upsetting. According to USA Today, the error occurred when Bates was letting Chock down from a lift: their blades intersected, not only allowing them not to spin as planned, but also causing a fall they weren't able to overcome.
“Everybody’s looking at us like we’re injured puppy dogs,” Bates said while crying after the dance. “I think we just clicked blades entering the spin and it’s really impossible to spin with that kind of friction. One moment things were going exactly how we wanted them to and the next moment, in a flash, disaster struck. There’s no other way to put it.”
Chock, who'd been putting off surgery on a long-injured foot solely to compete in the Olympics this year, was in tears as well:
It’s just so fresh. I’m really proud of how we recovered and got up and just still can’t believe it happened. As soon as it happened, I said, ‘My God, our butts are on the ice where our skates are supposed to be.’ We’ve worked so hard this season to kind of reinvent ourselves. It just sucks that this happened at the Olympic Games. But it’s OK. Life goes on, and we’ll go on, we’ll be okay.
The pair was optimistic after their performance the night before and was even more excited to execute their longer program. They skated to John Lennon's "Imagine," which they'd hoped would convey a message of togetherness to the millions of people watching. They got right back up and finished the second half of their skate.