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1. Oliver Rochon
In 2018, Canadian athlete Oliver Rochon was competing in the freestyle skiing aerials. Unfortunately, he took the kind of nasty crash that reminded me why I never go skiing!
Of course, one person’s failure is another person’s success story. In this case, Rochon wiping out gave Oleksandr Abramenko a chance to take home the gold, and he made the most of it.
Good for Abramenko, of course. But we’re pretty confident that Rochon will always count this as one of the worst moments of his life.
2. Kikuchi Sumire
By definition, an Olympics wipeout doesn’t look pretty. But for Japanese skater Kikuchi Sumire, the wipeout during the Women's 500m Short Track Speed Skating Quarterfinals in 2022 was even uglier than usual.
It led to this iconic photo in which she looks like she’s ready to bury her face in her legs and just die. And after the wipeout, she probably felt dead inside.
But then again, who doesn’t?
3. Madison Chock and Evan Bates
We normally think of nasty wipeouts as occurring when athletes are skiing down dangerous slopes or snowboarding into major environmental dangers. But Madison Chock and Evan Bates are here to show us that figure skating can have its own dramatic wipeouts.
Heading into the Olympics, this pair looked like they were going to be gold medal contenders. But after the two of them fell down during the ree dance figure skating event of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, they ended up coming in ninth.
In other words, we got to watch years of preparation end in disaster in the space of a heartbeat! Whenever the Olympics get boring, you can count on moments of true despair to keep things lively.
4. Kexin Fan
What makes a wipeout compelling to watch? Sometimes, it’s little more than how goofy they look when it happens!
One of our favorite examples is Kexin Fan, the Chinese athletes competing in 2014 at the women's 500 meters short-track speed skating semifinal event. Fan ended up crashing into the barrier and very narrowly avoided crashing into two Olympics officials.
Those officials needed to watch their butts…literally. In fact, this photo makes it seem like Fan is about to eat that booty like groceries!
5. Andrei Mozalev
Things are obviously heating up right now with Russia. But when it comes to the Winter Olympics, it looks like Russian athlete Andrei Mozalev already managed to lose the war during the 2022 event. With these wipeouts, athletes typically have masks on that make it harder to see exactly how they are feeling. But Mozalev competed in the Men's Single Skating Short Progam. No mask was required, so we can see exactly how he feels about falling down during his routine while the entire world is watching.
And that feeling can be summed up in two TikTok-friendly words: “emotional damage.”
6. Akmarzhan Kalmurzayeva
If we’re being honest, still images of major wipeouts don’t usually do the wipeout justice. After all, the best wipeouts are the ones where you wonder if the person is even going to survive. How can an image compete with watching it live?
One of the rare exceptions is this photo of Akmarzhan Kalmurzayeva of Kazakhstan. During the 2022 Winter Olympics, she competed hard during the Freestyle Skiing - Women's Aerials. And when she wiped out, this photo captured the exact meaning of the term “ass over teakettle.”
Then again, this is still better than getting eaten by the Abominable SnowMonster in SkiFree, so things could be worse.
7. Jinyu Li and Elise Christie
What’s better than one Winter Olympics wipeout? Simple answer: two wipeouts, of course!
During the 2018 Winter Olympics, Jinyu Li of China and Elise Christie of Great Britain were competing in the ladies' short track speed skating 1500m semifinals. Both of them ended up taking a nasty tumble, and this photo captures the bitter moments immediately afterward.
It could be worse, though. After all, can anyone make Great Britain look any worse than Boris Johnson is already doing?
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