Should a break in a program be severely penalized?

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Maofan7, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

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    I think it would help if at least they only allowed restarts from the point where the music stopped, and not from the element that was missed. V&M didn't abort a lift (it never went up) but they did skate through it. They should have been allowed to start the program when the music had stopped and then it would be their choice to resume the program (and skip the lift) or to try to cram in the lift in a different section of the music (and risk messing up their timing on all the other elements). BTW, they had a big enough lead over Chock/Bates that they would have had silver even if they didn't get the 10+ points the lift was worth.

    I also find the referee's reaction the French team curious, although well-intentioned I am sure. I don't think the intent of the rule is "oh dear, don't withdraw, you have 3 minutes to rest!" I thought the 3 minutes was there to limit the time (I can't find a video of the Zhangs but I think their stop was substantially longer), basically to say if your problem is so big that it can't be resolved in 3 minutes, you're done. I expect that at least the ISU will issue clarification there, and more likely, they will come up with either a deduction or rule change.
  2. Asli

    Asli Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't call that polite discussion "exploding with indignation". Many people understandably questioned the rule/decision and said that there should be a deduction for an interruption, but noone cried politics or :blocjudge and there was hardly any vitriol against the skaters, fortunately.

    I hope no such situation arises at the Worlds. Three times in one season is too much. If a skater has a cramp, that is her/his problem.

    ITA with you.


    Judo and taekwondo don't have uninterrupted routines though. They are already start-stop. Besides, the injury break gives the opponent the same amount of rest, so it is not unfair.
  3. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    It's true that other sports allow stops. But other sports aren't a performance either. Stopping breaks the flow of a performance in the way that matters compared to a sport like football where stopping is built-in and expected and even part of the strategy.

    I think there are a number of considerations for how breaks should be handled. Safety of the athletes should be #1 IMO. Next is fairness. Third would be that athletes want to win based on beating their competitors, not on technicalities. The final and least important consideration should be the audience/fans and how it impacts us.

    I think the current rules in figure skating are fine when it comes to athlete safety. I'm not so sure they are fair though. And they definitely don't do it for the fan/audience.

    How about that "winning on a technicality" thing? If I won a competition because one competitor's crystals fell on the ice and the next competitor wasn't allowed to stop and make the ice people clean them up so either fell or withdrew, I'd be pissed. Especially if they were my biggest rival. The same if their boot lace came loose or a strap on their costume and ref made them stop for safety and then they had to withdraw because that was the rule - no stopping. That's not how I want to win and I think that's not how skaters want to win.

    In other sports, especially team sports, winning on technicalities is more acceptable, I think. But in individual sports, it seems to be less acceptable.

    We were all QUITE indignant though. Quite. And we exploded with the exact same discussion we're having now only with about 10x the passion because it had just happened. :D
  4. Lacey

    Lacey Well-Known Member

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    If I am not mistaken, Scott did a double take with his head when he realized that the ref would permit them to redo the lift, basically start that portion over.

    If one of the partners does not initially do the lift, then it should be scored a zero, IMO.
  5. Asli

    Asli Well-Known Member

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    O.K. Indignation noted. :) Maybe I would have felt the strength explosion if I had read the thread live.
    MacMadame and (deleted member) like this.
  6. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

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    I agree with that, but then one can argue that injuries are out of the skater's control. So I would clarify this rule, anything that is not under the control of the athlete should be allowed, except of injuries. (and then reason for that is as I wrote above- because it is not possible to fairly distinguish who is really injured and who isn't.)
  7. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

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    Winning on technicality - I don't think that anyone really cares. A few fans may remember that person A won on technicality but that in reality maybe person B should have won, but in a few years time the fact remains that the person A was better than person B. It is the same as if you win only with 0.301 score. For a year or two maybe someone may remember that it was more like a joint first place rather than a second place, but in a few years time no one will know. Second place is second place, no matter if it was on technicality or just 0.01 mark lower than the first place.
  8. lauravvv

    lauravvv Well-Known Member

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    I think skaters can be allowed to restart if they can. I agree that there should be no fixed penalty if it's something outside of skater's control (although that's not a precise term, as a skate/costume malfunction can also be outside of skater's control, as can a temporary medical condition that is not a consequence of previous injury), but perhaps it can be added in the description for PCSs requirements that judges can detract from PCS if they feel that it really spoiled the impression of the program. If an interruption happens because of an injury (which can't be proved right away), or because the skater hasn't been careful enough in regard to his/her skates/boots/laces or costume, then they should be penalized. But not by so much that they could loose to a skater/team that did the technical elements at a much lower level. Perhaps by so much that they could loose to someone who is really close. I can't tell precisely right now.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
  9. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    In most equestrian events, which aren't (except, kinda sorta, the Kur phase of GP dressage) performance, if you have an equipment failure, you fall off, your horse stumbles or loses a shoe...too bad, so sad. You're excused. Everyone understands that these things happen, that in most cases it's not really in the rider's control (even things like the shoe can happen when they appeared fine beforehand), but if it happens in the jump-off at the Olympics, or in the Kur (musical freestyle, the final round of Dressage) at the WEG...too bad, so sad. That's part of the job, sometimes you go out, crap happens, it's not fair to the other competitors riding before you or after you if you get a do-over.
  10. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    I think the following situations should be considered in the skater's sphere of responsibility, even if not in their immediate control, and thus subject to penalties:

    injury
    equipment or costume failure
    mental lapse
    music failure if and only if the problem is clearly with the media provided by the skater and not with the equipment provided by the organizers (or human error by the music operator)

    So I would think only those kinds of problems would be subject to official penalty. Anything else is too bad and will probably have a negative effect on the judges' overall perception of the performance, but there's no reason to build in a penalty.

    The only time I would consider injury outside the skater's responsibility would be they were hit by something falling from the ceiling or shot or thrown by someone in the audience in the middle of the performance.
  11. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    The athletes involved care. That is why I said "athletes don't want to win on a technicality" and not "fans don't want athletes to win on a technicality." I did later clarify that to say it's mostly athletes in individual sports who care.

    I will give an example outside of skating... the year Chrissie Wellington defended her Ironman World Championship, she got a flat tire and when she was fixing it, she messed up her CO2 canister or it was defective or something. Anyway, she had no air to put back in her tire and the SAG wagon was very far away. So the word went out on the course and one of the gal pros threw her a CO2 canister as she was riding by. Chrissie finished fixing her flat and went on to win the race. After the race, people did ask the pro who helped her about that... why'd you give Chrissie your canister? She said she didn't want to win because Chrissie had a flat. She wanted to beat her on the playing field. But most people didn't even ask because that's the culture of that sport. OF COURSE you give the other pro your canister. Or your spare goggles. Or tell them they are about to go off course and run an extra .5 miles.

    Skaters mostly seem to be like that from what I've seen. You don't see skaters whining about rules that let them stop if their bootlace comes undone and no skaters who came in behind V/M at 4CC whined about them stopping either. It was all the fans doing that. The stopping thing bothers us much more than it bothers the athletes. (So maybe they do think the rules are fair?? Interesting idea. I will have to noodle on that.)

    Well one can argue anything. But I have a hard time swallowing the argument that a skater's body breaking down is the same thing as someone in the audience pulling the fire alarm as a joke and the building being evacuated. It's the job of the skater to show up ready to compete. If they show up with an injury or they get injured during a performance, they haven't done their job and shouldn't get a do-over.
  12. iNap

    iNap New Member

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    I don't think any skater should be penalised. This is good idea for ISU and sponsers. All skaters could do this for future. Sponsers can put advertissementes for all breaks. Why only one break?? maybe 2 or 3 or 4. Some program are boring and some people can use bathrooms during this time also :D
  13. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

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    I didn't like it when Zhangs won Silver in Torino with a fall and a beak, and I still don't like breaks in the program.
  14. AlexDSSF

    AlexDSSF Member

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    What would happen if a skater had a wardrobe malfunction during a performance but continued to skate anyway? For instance, if a female skater's top popped off and her breasts (or at least her bra) were shown, but she chose in a split-second to finish the routine, would she be penalized for NOT stopping?
  15. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Didn't an ice dancer once do half of a compulsory with her breast hanging out? I think that scenario has already happened.
  16. Mayra

    Mayra Well-Known Member

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    Sorry but if you sustain an injury during your program to the point that you need to stop and regroup, then you shouldn't be allowed to continue. No excuses. Got a cramp? Better luck next time. Here's the exit, let me hand you your skate guards.

    The fact that this has happened 3 times this season in ice dance is a joke and really doesn't help the reputation of the discipline IMO.
  17. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

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    Define "severely penalized".
    IMO, injury breaks should be allowed, but with a deduction of "-3", plus not being allowed to repeat any elements that were aborted by the stop; the element not executed the first time gets an automatic 0. Certainly re-doing any elements and counting them should be out of the question.
    I also wonder if a distinction of "hazardous" injury is in order... If there is blood involved, more time might be allowed to tend to the would, with a doctor present on ice. In case of the currect crop of injuries ( not disputed by me at all, but impossible to assess), a stricter time limit might be necessary. 3 minutes is a long time.
  18. rayhaneh

    rayhaneh New Member

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    Except for skaters "next time" could mean next year, or could have much larger repercutions on their middle term career should that happen at Nationals in certain countries as this could determine their chances of getting international assignments for the following season. I think the penalty here is too heavy and an athlete should be allowed to have a chance to continue, although any cut to the program should be penalized, unless the organization actually bears responsibility for the cut (defective audio equipment, electricity cut, etc - we got a few examples of what could go wrong at the Junior Worlds in Milan this week actually:lol:)

    As a runner, I've had, on the rare occasion, cramps that were powerful enough that I was not able to continue right away. Not because I can't push through pain, but because the cramp was violent enough that I couldn't move my leg properly anymore. But usually that kind of cramps go away pretty quickly and I was able to resume after a couple of minutes. To be honest, I've never taken part to a race where simply stopping automatically disqualifies you, and that includes nationals. I don't see why skaters should be more penalized than we are :huh:

    In the case of running, the penalty is automatic as you simply lose the time you need before you can resume running, plus the time to go back in your race rhythm. I'm sure we can come to have fair penalties depending on the various possible reasons for stopping - what would hurt the sport is not the possibility of stopping the program, but rather the perception that skaters are not treated equally as far as consequences for a break in the program are concerned
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  19. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think an injury/emergency stop should get a penalty, but I don't think the element that was aborted should be allowed to be repeated.

    I recall a singles skater (maybe a Fin?) crumpling into the boards after sliding on a fall. She was given an amount of time to get of the ice and regroup, and I think she started skating again. She was obviously hurt, as the rest of her program wasn't fabulous.

    I'm all for that. If a skater is hurt, but thinks they can continue, they should get to. But if they abort a lift or hurt themselves on a fall, they should pick up from after the element. I'd also be okay with from where the music was stopped- that way skaters need to signal to the referees quickly to that they are stopping (though if you are in a crumpled heap after a fall, that may not be fair...).

    For a broken blade, lace, pant strap- etc. You start from where the referee whistles for you to stop, or from where you signal that you need the music to be stopped.
  20. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    It really is simple to solve.

    If there's a costume/safety issue, referee whistles = no deduction

    If skater runs out of breath and stops on his own = deduction

    I guess that could lead to skaters tearing pieces of their costumes off if they wanted a break. :p
  21. rainbowkisses

    rainbowkisses Banned Member

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    lmao pls
    this is figure skating not soccer
    and even if you dont get a deduction, stopping still affects your scores.
    if the judges know you are injured they will scrutinize your skating skills more

    in addition, dance is different than pairs/singles (no jumps etc.) so the rules seem fair
    i think there are more problems in fs rn than dancers stopping in the middle of a program then being allowed to continue
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  22. euterpe

    euterpe Well-Known Member

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    IMO, a break due to a momentary 'injury' such as V/M's and Alex Shibutani's (cramps) should be penalized with -1 for one minute, -2 two minutes, and -3 for three; after the 3 minutes are up, the skater/team should be withdrawn. If the skater/team starts to do an element and then stops, that element should not be repeated once the program is resumed.

    In the case of P/C, where she was already injured before they took the ice, stopping should constitute withdrawal. If a skater/team is already injured and they choose to skate, there is the possibility of making the injury worse. So if the injury is too painful to continue, the skater/team should not be permitted to stop and rest, and then resume.

    If the stop is not due to an injury but to some other event, such as equipment or costume malfunction, junk on the ice, music or power problem, there should be no penalty.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  23. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    A one point penalty seems lame. It needs to be much more than that.
  24. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    Really? You're marking it like a fall and I'm assuming the PCS are also impacted and there might be a missed element as well. That would all add up.
  25. euterpe

    euterpe Well-Known Member

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    Obviously, there would be impact on the PCS score for a stop as well as a -1 for one minute. It seems reasonable to make the penalty higher the longer the program is in hiatus---skaters would think twice about taking long 'rest' breaks if there was a down side.
  26. lauravvv

    lauravvv Well-Known Member

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    Probably a bit more than that, but not much more. Otherwise, it could lead to situations where a lower level skater/team that also did their technical elements at a considerably lower level could win over a team that still did their elements much better. Yes, on the one hand, it might be physically easier to skaters who had an interruption to perform the rest of their elements. On the other hand, they are very likely to be quite shaken because of such an abrupt interruption, and, therefore, unable to concentrate on their elements quite as well as they would have without that stop - or, quite the opposite, it might result in concentrating too hard and skating too carefully. That could make it difficult to skate the rest of the program to the best of their ability. So, I don't believe that there really is such an advantage as people are saying. The effect it has on skater's PCS was already mentioned - there is no way how it wouldn't influence the judges view of the performance, even if there are no any specific rules demanding a detraction from PCS.
  27. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that the length of the interruption is not necessarily under the skater's control.

    It might be unclear exactly when the skater stopped. E.g., if the music is still playing and they're still trying to skate to it despite being unable, at that exact moment to execute the choreography as planned. Has the program already stopped? Or are they still trying to continue and the stop doesn't officially occur until they clearly stop trying and make their way to the referee? (Or when the music stops if the ref realizes the skater is unable to go on at that moment)

    The discussion with the referee and maybe the coach or a medical professional to decide whether to withdraw or resume could take varied amount of time that may have more to do with where people are located than with the skater choosing how much time to wait. Should a skater who gets a cut be penalized more if the nearest bandaid is 2 minutes away than if it's 1 minute away?

    Then if they decide to continue, the amount of time it takes to recue the music to the correct spot canalso vary for reasons that have more to do with the nature of the equipment being used or the sharpness of the music person or how easy it is for the ref to communicate with the music person -- the skater is ready to resume, but the music isn't ready -- should the skater be penalized more? Or does the deduction clock stop ticking as soon as the skater indicates s/he's ready to restart, even if it takes another minute or two before they actually start and so in effect they get that much longer to catch their breath?

    I do think that stops for injury that involve stopping the music need to be penalized officially. If the skater just kind of wanders on the ice for several or many seconds while the music is playing and then resumes without having abandoned the ice, then that would be penalized in PCS, so stopping completely and starting again shouldn't be treated more leniently.

    And certain problems, whether with the skater's body or with the equipment, just can't be solved quickly, so after a certain amount of time -- currently 3 minutes? -- if they can't be ready to resume, then they have to withdraw.

    But if there's a problem with the venue that takes longer to resolve, then the whole competition stops for however long it takes to fix, and even if it's hours later they'll resume with that skater, at the beginning of the program. After a certain amount of time everyone who had already warmed up but not competed yet would get another warmup.
  28. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    Spoken like a true NON-athlete!

    A skater who happens to fall on their wrist wrong after a jump needs time to see if it's broken for the safety of the skater. Certain things should be penalized. Costume malfunction is much different than an injury and the skater’s health is first and foremost. If too big of a penalty is made, skaters will be reluctant to even stop and that is NOT GOOD!

    Mandatory penalties should be enforced within reason to be fair to the skaters who didn't have to stop and after watching skating forever, it's hardly an epidemic.
  29. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    The most important thing for me is that the skaters should resume at the point where they stopped.

    Situations like Virtue/Moir being allowed to resume skating from the point before they stopped and repeat a lift that failed to go up the first time should never ever be allowed to happen.
  30. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    I don't know. We've had THREE of these incidents in one season in ISU events alone. Isn't that as many as we've had in the past decade or two?
  31. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    I wonder why the ISU has decided to remove the penalty in the first place.

    I guess they did so after some situations where you could feel it was unfairly applied.

    Like Duhamel's partner cutting his hand.

    Couldn't they have made some distinction though between various situations and consider each one separately? Or is that difficult to pin down and could potentially open up protests/lawsuits?
  32. Louis

    Louis Tinami 2012

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    I mostly agree with Tracy Wilson, except I'd allow skaters to stop and resume as long as their music is still playing. If you need time to fix your dress, tie your skate, or check if your wrist is broken, that's fine, but your music keeps playing for the 5 or 30 or 60 seconds it takes you to do what you need to. You resume when you're able and you lose anything between.

    Wasn't there a situation at Russian Nationals - I want to say it was 1998 - where Shishkova and Naumov tried to stop their program and got told no by the referee?
  33. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    Three? There have been well over 1500 programs skated this season alone between juniors and seniors at ISU events; things happen, the ISU will change if they see it's habit forming among too many skaters.
  34. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    But in the past three years there have been ZERO. Suddenly in 1 season there are 3 and two are at Championship events and involved eventual medal winners.
  35. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    ^
    Are we counting only injuries or equipment issues, too? Because I can think of two skaters who had to stop with skate issues two seasons ago - Mark Ladwig at 2011 4CC and Daisuke Takahashi at 2011 Worlds. I don't think it's somehow meaningful that both were at ISU Championships in the same season, and I don't think it's more meaningful that three dance teams stopped this season to care for cramps/injuries - random probability, more likely.

    It sounds like Candice Didier at 2009 Worlds.

    Definitely the element that was aborted should not be done again.
  36. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    In the NFL, if a player is injured, there is a time out that is not charged to his team. However, even if the player walks back to the sidelines, he is not allowed to get int he very next play. He has to wait for at least one play.

    You are right that different sports have different rules. However, if a rule creates a potential for cheating, it must be changed. If there is an object on the ice that could create danger for a skater, it is very clearly visible, so the skater should not be penalized for it. However, an injury or sickness cannot always proven to be real, and it creates an unfair competition. A deduction is fair for a break in the program for most reasons, including equipment issues, costume issues, and stopping the music, because there is a potential for cheating in it (remember Tonya's shoelaces in the 1994 Olympics?). The exceptions need to be clearly stated in the rules. In the current form, there is a risk of an unfair competition.
  37. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    :confused:

    Every article I have read says that Tessa Virtue had a "cramp." Does a cramp amount to a "medical reason" for stopping skating? I am not sure that it does.

    Here is an extract from a National Insitutes of Health abstract of an article on the subject:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8784961?dopt=Abstract

    I think at least as reasonable an argument can be made that a skater should not be able to restart after stopping because of a cramp as it can be for a skater who stops after experiencing a problem with his equipment or costume. If, for example, a skater is responsible for making sure his laces are tied, should he not also be responsible for stretching, conditioning, and mental preparation?

    I'm not saying that the argument is right, only that it is reasonable.
  38. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    Nobody wants to see the skater embarrassed due to costume malfunction, but the skater should accept the penalty for having to take a break. I don't consider this "beyond a skater's control" because skaters should pick costumes that would not fall off, and should check their costumes before the competition to make sure there is no broken strap, etc.

    IMO the discussion is not really about whether a skater should be allowed a break or not; it's about whether there should be a deduction for taking a break. If the deduction is big enough, skaters might be more careful in using that break.
  39. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    I'm not counting equipment issues because I think those stops are okay and should continue to be allowed.
  40. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

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    That actually happened, a few years ago. A Russian dancer was doing compulsory dance at either Europeans or Worlds and the dress malfunctioned. Her breast did pop out but she continued.