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29 Secrets Competitive Figure Skaters Will Never Tell You

"Sometimes you have to plastic wrap your boobs because you can't wear a bra with most costumes — some people even duct tape them."

The Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics are underway, and if you're anything like us, then you're probably glued to your TV intently watching all the incredible figure skating rockstars compete for gold. So for our own sake, and the sake of everyone who shares our love of the sport, we decided to get an inside look at all things skating. Thank you to the five skaters who gave us an inside look into what it's really like to compete at this level.

1. To be competitive, you have to start skating REALLY young.

2. There are actual tests you have to pass in order to get to the next ~level~ of figure skating.

3. You train just as much off the ice as you do on the ice.

4. Skating feels more natural and comfortable to us than things like running, biking, or swimming.

5. And twisting and turning when you're in midair feels completely normal.

6. Sometimes we’ll hear songs and choreograph routines to them in our heads.

7. Most of us prefer winter to summer.

8. Despite popular belief, skating is a brutal sport, and we constantly have cuts, blisters, and bruises to show off.

9. Your costume is an integral part of your performance and you WILL be judged on it.

10. You're not allowed to wear fringes or sequins, but rhinestones are fair game.

11. And sometimes you have to plastic wrap your boobs because you can't wear a bra with most costumes — some skaters even duct tape them.

12. Hitting the ice really freakin' hurts.

13. But in general, we're not scared of falling — it happens literally all the time.

14. The fear of failing during a competition, on the other hand, can be crippling.

15. And so can the pressure to look a certain way or be a specific body size.

16. You have to give every single move and jump all of your strength and energy if you want to land it, and there can't be any hesitation.

17. Nothing is worse than breaking in a new pair of skates.

18. Or awkwardly trying to skate after getting your blades sharpened.

19. Judges are definitely biased and therefore the whole scoring system is flawed.

20. You have to be strong AF to be a figure skater, and we love how muscular we are.

21. And all the tests and competitions leave you with pretty thick skin.

22. Toe picks can seriously get the best of you.

23. Many of us love to dance on the side — it actually helps make us better figure skaters.

24. Yes, most of us are perfectionists and overachievers, and probably the most competitive people you'll meet.

25. Sometimes you have to wake up at ungodly hours so you can get to the freezing cold rink for early morning trainings before school.

26. And it's not fun showering after practice and feeling your toes throb and turn bright red as they thaw.

27. Sometimes it feels like you're missing out on life because all you do is train.

28. But as tough as it is, you love figure skating. And it's so hard to eventually leave behind.

29. Because no matter how many years you skate, you NEVER get over the amazing feeling of being out on the ice.

Keep on keeping on, ice queens!