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Figure Skating Costume Facts: What We Learned From Cosmopolitan Magazine

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MICHELLE KWAN OLYMPICS
Michelle Kwan of the United States competes in the women's free skate program at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2002. Kwan won the bronze medal. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

The 2014 Winter Olympics is just days away and while we're excited to see our athletes go for the gold, we can't wait to see what the Olympians will be wearing.

We've already had a taste of what some athletes will be wearing at Sochi like the Mexican ski team's hilarious mariachi band-inspired outfit and Team USA's much-criticized gear.

But for us, we really want to see the figure skating costumes (sorry bobsledders!).

Not only do fashion designers create skaters' outfits but judges have be known to be swayed by a uniform.

Intriguing right? So, after doing a bit of research, we came across this amazing article on Cosmopolitan.com where the author interviewed ice-skating costume designer Brad Griffies.

Here are the most interesting things we found out about figure skating outfits:

1. Just as we thought, skating outfits are expensive.

Even when they're not made by a fashion designer like Vera Wang, they can run upwards of $1,500.

2. There's an actual move that could cause a nip slip.

It's called the Biellmann spin (where the skater leans back and grabs her skate, lifting it over her head) which "increases the risk of a nipple-exposing wardrobe malfunction."

3. Women were once banned from wearing unitards.

We can't believe it either but this was an actual rule until they allowed unitards in 2004.

4. Men are not allowed to wear tights.

Basically men aren't allowed to wear tights to avoid crotch shots. "We want to keep things family-show appropriate," said Juliet Newcomer, the Director of Technical Services at the U.S. Figure Skating Association. Too bad!

5. If skaters do break the uniform rules, it will cost them.

Skaters will lose 1 point if their costume is deemed inappropriate but, according to Cosmo, the rules are vague and open to interpretation.
Clothing “must be modest, dignified, and appropriate for athletic competition, not garish or theatrical in design. Clothing may, however, reflect the character of the music.”

6. But if they break the "no accessory" rule, nothing will happen to them.

Michelle Kwan almost always wore a necklace when skating and she never got penalized.

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Strange Olympics Uniforms
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