Adam Siao Him Fa lands back flip, becomes European skating champ

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French figure skater Adam Siao Him Fa just did an illegal backflip in competition at the European Championships, deliberately incurring a deduction, as a flex of his confidence that he would win anyway. He did, in fact, win.

It was also a tribute to the French skater Surya Bonaly who infamously did the same thing at the 1998 Olympics (though hers was more of a “fuck it why not,” and she wasn’t in contention to win any medals).

Backflips are illegal in figure skating because they’re dangerous, not because they’re more difficult than some other jumps. If you mess up a traditional jump you’ll land on your ass, if you mess up a backflip you’ll land on your head.

99% of the time an illegal move happens, it’s by accident; which is why there are no other consequences than a point  deduction. There’s no differentiating between accidental and deliberate violations of the rules because the latter is so vanishingly rare that it’s not worth clutching any pearls over.

For a bit of bonus context, none of the other heavy hitters of men’s skating were at this event (this was European nations only), so Adam was working with a much larger margin of error than is typical. Furthermore, it was just for fun rather than stemming from dickishness or arrogance.

And yes, pretty much all top skaters are hot. This is the silver medallist of this event and this is the bronze medallist and this is of course the reigning world champion and this is… Deniss, and most importantly, the GOAT ☺️