The best gold-medal winning reaction at the Olympics so far

Aliona Savchenko has been here before. Five times now the 34-year-old German has competed in the Winter Olympics. She missed out on a gold medal in her first four, despite an abundantly decorated career that included five pairs World Championships gold medals, four European Championships gold medals and another four gold medals at the Grand Prix Final.

There was but one competition for her to conquer: the Olympic Games.

Bruno Massot and Aliona Savchenko were an emotional roller coaster ride on Thursday evening.
Bruno Massot and Aliona Savchenko were an emotional roller coaster ride on Thursday evening.

On Thursday in South Korea, alongside pairs partner Bruno Massot, she did just that. The couple delivered a record-breaking 159.31 free skate, which, when combined with their 76.59 in the short program, won the Germans a gold medal over China’s Cong Han and Wenjing Sui by half a point.

It was a momentous evening for the Germans, who captivated the internet with their skating, yes, but more than that, their very relatable roller coaster of emotions throughout the evening.

8:12 PM: They earn the highest score recorded in Olympic pairs free skate history. This is an ecstatic Massot-Savchenko.


They knew they delivered. Then came the agonizing part: Waiting…waiting…waiting, for some of the world’s best teams to potentially supplant them atop the standings.

8:26 PM: The Chinese team of Han and Sui turn in an excellent free skate, though one with a few small slip ups. This is potential freak-out, so-tense-your-cheeks-hurt Massot-Savchenko.



8:40 PM: The Canadian team of Eric Radford and Meagan Duhamel finishes with a 230.15 and the Olympic Athletes from Russia tumble. The gold is theirs. This is happy, bawling, relieved, thrilled, lovable, internet sensation, in desperate need of a tissue Massot-Savchenko.



The Olympics are emotional. For some athletes, a medal is four years in the making. For Savchenko? It’s been 20.

The tears have been well-earned.


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