The Winter Olympics are weird, utterly specific and exclusionary to a fault.
The events are also pretty awesome if you care to open your eyelids and actually give them a shake.
Take figure skating, for example. At face value, it's skinny guys in matador-casual chucking around women from the ex-Soviet bloc with eight syllable names. Lame, right? Wrong.
Figure skating–while not endlessly B.A.–isn't hopscotch on ice. These people go for big air, and sometimes it ends in a 50/50 face grind in front of the judge's booth.
In the name of getting everyone in the mood for the Sochi Olympics, I've put together a number of ice skating bloopers, fails and facials. As you'll see, competitive skating might not be a "contact sport," but that doesn't mean everyone makes it home with their spine and/or Chiclets intact.
Even if it's just in reference to the soundtrack of your routine, you never want a sportscaster to whisper "Pearl Harbor" moments before you perform a number of dangerous, airborne flips.
Incredibly, this skater was able to get up and skate away from this nasty, twisting fall. Even more unbelievable is the fact that she wanted to continue her routine, whereas the rest us would've stuffed our skates in a kiln and called it a lifetime.
♫ You put the ice right into my face! (Hoo hoo!) ♫
You'd be hard pressed to find a soundtrack more ironically suited for an episode of blunt force trauma than "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go."
This is French skater Brian Joubert—a man whose love for The Matrix series is only outstripped by his adoration for sequin shirts.
Joubert manages a strong routine—lots of triple David Axelrods and quadruple cow salads—but failed to stick the landing on one particularly tricky double spinner-jump and ended up belly flopping onto the ice.
These things happen when you take the red pill.
Would you buy tickets to "WWE On Ice?"
If you answered "No" to the prospect of professional wrestling on skates, leave now. Just leave.
If you haven't figured it out already, figure skating can mess you up. Badly.
Just because no one is being forcibly tackled or taking helmets to the jaw doesn't mean there isn't contact, as evidenced in this clip from an '80s documentary on pairs' figure skating.
Like any other contact sport, bones can be broken and injuries can last. So, please—don't attempt these moves on your frozen, backyard pond.
This video is proof that anything can be made majestic when you put it in slow motion and dub in a soundtrack of whales conceiving.
No, unfortunately this isn't footage of a young David Hasselhoff spinning on ice in an electric blue disco suit.
The culprit in this clip is German figure skater Norbert Schramm, who managed to nail a move called the "death drop" moments before falling on his butt for seemingly no reason.
I can only imagine this is like figure skating's version of the DeSean Jackson goal-line fumble. You did the hard part, but you still have to finish.
Fact: An eggplant elven tunic—while light and airy—will not make your partner weigh less.
Maxim Trankov tried his best but failed to get wheels off the ground with this lift at the 2012 ISU Figure Skating Grand Prix in Sochi, Russia.
Luckily, his partner Tatiana Volosozhar was able to help him...well...she tried to help her elven partner up. It's the thought that counts.
Here's a still shot of a bit of the carnage that took place at the 2014 European Figure Skating Championships in January.
Indeed, forced pilates is the worst pilates.
It's tempting to focus on the young woman in this GIF having years of orthodontistry reversed, but watch Chrome Dome McGavin on the left.
He provides some timely help to this woman by smiling and opening his mouth as she falls. Fortunately, he manages to open his hand just as her teeth hit the ice.
Flexibility is a virtue in figure skating, but after watching Navorro Bowman go down in a heap of twisted sinew, it's difficult to look at this without cringing.
In the spirit of optimism (and preserving my ability to sleep at night), I'm going to assume he landed in a cross-legged, sitting position.
This is artwork in motion.
If figure skating were ever to involve an MMA component, this young lady would be up for a contract and signing bonus.
After being rotated some 720 degrees in the air, she lands and executes a perfect takedown without falling to the ice.
Figure skating is a sport of grace and beauty, but the implementation of a helmet with a facemask could go a long way toward saving these poor flyers from a bruised jaw/brain.
One day this may be a reality, but until then, they'll continue shoveling sleet with their bottom canines.
Sometimes you get a little too cocky, overestimate your spinning abilities and wind up a professional figure skater.
That said, you're only a pair of shoes away from a career in ballroom dancing if the ice part doesn't pan out for you.
When life knocks you down, break out the Twister mat and roll with it.
"We'll put a red carpet on the ice, do a little salsa and start slam dancing! C'mon! It'll be edgy!"
I'm no figure skating savant—and I'm sure there's a perfectly good reason for this—but I'm almost positive the red sheet on the ice had a hand in this routine's undoing.
You're out there on the ice, floating through space and time with the wind in your sleeves and every eye watching you.
The spotlight is on, the intensity palpable—all you have to do is land the big trick.
At this point in time, you're probably thinking about everything but running into a small, flat bottom fishing boat. Then again, apparently one of these careless dock owners at the ice skating rink forgot to take their boat out of the water for winter, and what are you left with? A bruised bottom and a lot of questions.
At least she had the grace to Larry David shrug her way out of this one.
Join me on Twitter for more Sochi silliness.