ashley wagner performs in the womens figure skating free program at picture

Olympic Figure Skaters for Whom the Rules of Gravity Don’t Apply

Don't try this at home.

Between the quadruple axels, triple salchows, and rare (not to mention illegal) backflip, Olympics figure skating is an often jaw-dropping, how’d-they-do-that? mix of grace and athleticism. But press pause mid-twist, -turn, or -flip, and those moves become even more impressive (and seemingly death-defying). With figure skating ramping up at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, we look back at some of the most head-scratching stills from Olympics of yore. (Pictured: American Ashley Wagner at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Japan.)

American Scott Hamilton at the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo, where he won a gold medal. Bettmann/Bettmann Archive American Scott Hamilton at the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo, where he won a gold medal. American Kristi Yamaguchi at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France, where she won a gold medal. Richard Mackson/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images American Kristi Yamaguchi at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France, where she won a gold medal. Canadian pairs Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, where they won a bronze medal. Eileen Langsley/Popperfoto/Popperfoto/Getty Images Canadian pairs Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, where they won a bronze medal. Russian pair Anton Sikharulidze and Elena Berezhnaya at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, where they won a silver medal. Eileen Langsley/Popperfoto/Popperfoto/Getty Images Russian pair Anton Sikharulidze and Elena Berezhnaya at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, where they won a silver medal. French skater Surya Bonaly performing a backflip (Illegal per Olympic rules) at the 1998 Olympics, where she placed 10th. Boston Globe/Boston Globe via Getty Images French skater Surya Bonaly performing a backflip (Illegal per Olympic rules) at the 1998 Olympics, where she placed 10th. American ice dancers Naomi Lang and Peter Tschernyshev at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, where they placed 11th. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images American ice dancers Naomi Lang and Peter Tschernyshev at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, where they placed 11th. Japanese skater Takeshi Honda at the 2002 Olympics, where he placed fourth. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images Japanese skater Takeshi Honda at the 2002 Olympics, where he placed fourth. French ice dancers Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat at the 2002 Olympics, where they won a gold medal. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images French ice dancers Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat at the 2002 Olympics, where they won a gold medal. Russian pair Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy, where they won a gold medal. AFP/AFP/Getty Images Russian pair Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy, where they won a gold medal. Canadian Emanuel Sandhu at the 2006 Olympics, where he placed 13th. Clive Rose/Getty Images Canadian Emanuel Sandhu at the 2006 Olympics, where he placed 13th. Chinese pair Qing Pang and Jian Tong at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, where they won a silver medal. DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images Chinese pair Qing Pang and Jian Tong at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, where they won a silver medal. Russian Alena Leonova at the 2010 Olympics, where she placed ninth. YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images Russian Alena Leonova at the 2010 Olympics, where she placed ninth. American ice dancers Madison Chock and Evan Bates at the 2014 Olympics, where they placed eighth. JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images American ice dancers Madison Chock and Evan Bates at the 2014 Olympics, where they placed eighth. American ice dancers Alex Shibutani and Maia Shibutani at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where they placed ninth. DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images American ice dancers Alex Shibutani and Maia Shibutani at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where they placed ninth.