Rhythmic gymnast’s shoe goes flying during performance

Maggie Hendricks
Fourth-Place Medal

Rhythmic gymnasts use balls, ribbons, hoops and clubs during their performances. They often throw the items in the air, so it's not odd to see items flying during rhythmic gymnastics events. However, one item that went flying during Friday's event was unexpected.

South Korea's Son Yeon-Jae was halfway through her clubs routine when her ballet shoe went flying off as she performed a pirouette. She continued her routine until it was finished, then sheepishly picked up her shoe.

"I was very embarrassed as it's never happened to me before," the 18-year-old, still a little red-faced from the episode, told reporters after finishing sixth.

"I got a little tense and started sweating and the shoe simply slipped off."

Oh, sweetheart. Don't be embarrassed. First off, you still made the cut for Saturday's finals. Secondly, you are far from the first athlete to lose your shoe during competition.

During these Olympics, Deron Williams lost his shoe in the game against Tunisia. Ethiopian runner Dejen Gebremeskel won a 3,000m race in February with one shoe.

[ Video: Gymnastics biggest winners and losers in 2012 ]

Mike Miller and Thaddeus Young kept going in NBA games without shoes, and Dwyane Wade threw Mike Bibby's shoe, which wasn't very nice. Rob Johnson's lost shoe in an NFL playoff game played a part in the "Music City Miracle."

So don't worry, Son Yeon-Jae. You just continued a fine tradition of shoeless athletes who kept calm and carried on.

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