Alexandra Whittaker
Feb 15, 2018 @ 2:30 pm

The Olympic athletes representing their countries in Pyeongchang are incredibly tenacious, but perhaps none more so than Germany's Aliona Savchenko.

The 34-year-old pairs skater competed in her fifth Olympics this week alongside her brand-new partner Bruno Massot, and while she had two previous Olympic bronze medals under her belt with a former pairs partner, she had never broken into the top two before.

That all changed once she and Massot finished a stunning world record-breaking free program, which catapulted them to first place. That made Savchenko—who considered retirement after the Sochi Olympics—tie the record of most Olympic pairs skating medals of all time.

Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty

Their free skate on Wednesday is the highest pairs program score ever—recorded at 159.31 points—according to NBC. And right after skating it, they collapsed onto the ice with joy.

Getty Images

Once the last skaters hit the ice and their podium placements were finalized, Savchenko and Massot immediately began to weep while next to their competitors:

RELATED: Watch the U.S. Pairs Skating Team Make History by Nailing a Quadruple Twist at the Olympics

Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, who placed third, immediately offered a comforting shoulder of support as they took in the news, and Chinese silver medalists Sui Wenjing and Han Cong also jumped in with congratulations, despite losing to the Germans by only a half a point.

While Savchenko and Massot represented Germany, neither of them was born there. Massot is originally from France, and Savchenko was born in Ukraine, which she represented at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

You May Like