David Gray/Reuters/Landov
Nate Jones
February 21, 2014 01:00 PM

Have there been more falls this year than ever before at the Sochi Winter Olympics? It seems likely – in skiing, women are competing on courses built for men, while figure skating changed its scoring rules to encourage more risky quad jumps.

But we’re not here to speculate about the causes. We’re here to gawk at nasty crashes. Because although these Winter Olympic athletes possess the speed, strength and endurance to shame us normal humans, when they fall, they’re just like the rest of us.

See the 17 most wince-worthy wipeouts of the 2014 Winter Olympics below. We separated them out by sport, so you can find your favorite flavor of failure.


Charles Krupa/AP

Athlete: Joan Verdu Sanchez of Andorra
Event: Men’s giant slalom first run
Result: Did not finish

Matthias Schrader/AP

Athlete: Johannes Rydzek of Germany
Event: Nordic combined men’s large hill 10km cross-country
Result: Finished 8th

Sergei Grits/AP

Athlete: Anton Kushnir of Belarus
Event: Training for men’s freestyle skiing aerials
Result: Won gold

Lars Baron/Getty

Athlete: Stephanie Joffroy of Chile
Event: Freestyle skiing women’s ski cross seeding
Result: Did not finish

Mike Ehrmann/Getty

Athlete: Chao Wu of China
Event: Freestyle skiing men’s aerial finals
Result: Finished 11th

Ruben Sprich/Reuters/Landov

Athlete: Ioan Valeriu Achiriloaie of Romania
Event: Men’s alpine skiing super combined downhill
Result: Did not finish

Gregorio Borgia/AP

Athlete: Dmitry Vassiliev of Russia
Event: Men’s ski jumping large hill finals
Result: Finished 26th


Jae C. Hong/AP

Athlete: Kent Callister of Australia
Event: Men’s snowboard halfpipe finals
Result: Finished 9th

Valdrin Xhemaj/EPA/Landov

Athlete: Kelly Clark of the U.S.A.
Event: Women’s snowboard halfpipe finals
Result: Won bronze

Jens Buettner/EPA/Landov

Athlete: Shaun White of the U.S.A.
Event: Men’s snowboard halfpipe finals
Result: Finished 4th

Sergei Grits/AP

Athlete: Allessandro Haemmerle of Australia
Event: Men’s snowboard cross quarterfinals
Result: Finished 5th

Speed Skating

China's Kexin Fan crashes at the Iceberg Skating Palace on February 13, 2014
David Gray/Reuters/Landov

Athlete: Kexin Fan of China
Event: Women’s short track speed skating 500m semifinals
Result: Finished 4th

David Gray/Reuters/Landov

Athletes: J.R. Celski of the U.S.A. (bottom left) and Chen Dequan of China
Event: Men’s short track speed skating 1500m finals
Result: Finished 4th and 5th, respectively

Patrick Semansky/AP

Athlete: Monique Angermueller of Germany
Event: Women’s speed skating 1000m heats
Result: Disqualified

Ivan Sekretarev/AP

Athlete: Shi Jingnan of China
Event: Men’s short track speed skating 1500m heats
Result: Finished 6th

Figure Skating

Barbara Walton/EPA/Landov

Athlete: Jeremy Abbott of the U.S.A.
Event: Men’s team figure skating short program
Result: Finished 7th (team won bronze)

Darron Cummings/AP

Athlete: Julia Lipnitskaya of Russia
Event: Women’s figure skating short program
Result: Finished 5th

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