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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."

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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.

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

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You usually start at the pre-preliminary level and go all the way up to senior level — you have to be at certain levels in order to participate in specific training sessions. Each test — there are jumps tests, spins tests, moves tests, and dance tests — is done in front of judges, and if you don't pass you have to retake it until you do.

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

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You have to do A LOT of intense plyometrics — to get more strength for higher jumps — and dance training, on top of your ice moves practice.

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

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

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You train every day and work so hard for years and years and make all these sacrifices — waking up so early, strength training, ballet, back-to-back programs, summer camps — to master these jumps and get stronger and faster. And then the outcome of all that training is one performance and the pressure to be perfect is insane, and if you aren't perfect you feel like a failure.

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

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You always end up covered in blisters and that makes it hard to land any of your jumps. Your skates just feel wrong and stiff and uncomfortable.

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

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You have to get them sharpened because once they get too dull it'll really affect your performance. But when you do your balance is always thrown off for a few days.

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

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How else would we pull off the moves and jumps in our routine? Our legs and ankles will always be strong, which is nice and helpful with a lot of weird sports like mountain biking and skiing.

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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.

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Getting up at 4 a.m. every morning to get to the rink at 5 a.m. can be miserable. So miserable. And it's cold — I don't think anyone ever really gets over that. Sometimes these training sessions can last around three hours. Then you have to shower and get ready for school!

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