The 22-year-old had just started a routine with partner Guillaume Cizeron when a lift by the Frenchman resulted in the skater's dress becoming undone, exposing one of her breasts.
But rather than allow the malfunction to wreck their Olympic dreams, Papadakis valiantly continued the performance – and was rewarded for her bravery with second place heading into Tuesday’s free dance.
Once the pair had finished the routine and Papadakis had covered herself back up, she waved to both the crowd and judges before leaving the ice with an exasperated look on her face, and she said afterwards that it was one of the worst outcomes possible while competing at the Winter Olympics.
“It was pretty distracting,” Papadakis said. “My worst nightmare at the Olympics. I told myself ‘you have to keep going’.
“That’s what we did, and we have to be proud of ourselves, delivering a great performance.”
Unfortunately, part of the figure skating scoring system is judged on costume and the aesthetics of the performance, meaning that the French pair were penalised for the wardrobe malfunction. Otherwise their score of 81.93 points could easily have surpassed the leaders’ total of 83.67, posted by Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada.
“It’s just frustrating to miss a few points because of a costume issue. It is not what we get ready for when we train,” Cizeron added.
South Korea’s Yura Min also suffered a dress failure on the ice just seconds into her routine with Alexander Gamelin, and was forced to readjust her outfit several times while completing the routine.