There are many more medals to be won in the 2018 Winter Olympics, but we doubt any of the winners' reactions will be able to top that of pairs figure skater Aliona Savchenko.
The five-time Olympian finally earned her place at the top of the podium on Feb. 15, and her reaction was pure gold. She and partner Bruno Massot, who skate for Germany, had set a world record with their free skate score, but they had to sit through three more performances to find out if it would be enough. When it was, the two both broke down into tears, but it was Savchenko's reaction in particular that made fans, and even non-fans, emotional.
I would just like everyone to please watch this. Aliona Savchenko, after FIVE Olympics, at 34 years old just won a gold medal. An inspiration. pic.twitter.com/RV1HaMLTSV— Savannah Ridout (@SavannahRidout) February 15, 2018
At 34, Savchenko was competing in her fifth Olympics, a rarity especially in her sport. After winning bronze medals at her last two Winter Games, Sochi and Vancouver, the skater was determined to finally win gold. Savchenko pressed on after the 2014 retirement of her last partner, Robin Szolkowy, and found a replacement in Massot, who promised her they would not settle for bronze in PyeongChang.
When it came time to compete, their odds looked slim after Massot doubled a triple jump in their short program. Still, they managed to overcome a more than five-point deficit to overtake leaders Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China. The two ultimately eked out a win by less than half of a point, leading to their moving winning moment.
Not surprisingly, Savchenko's story won over many viewers, and people got busy tweeting about her inspiring journey. Even Polina Edmunds, who skated for the United States in Sochi, weighed in.
WOW. So happy for Aliona Savchenko, that was so gentle, graceful and strong. 😍💙#WinterOlympics— Polina Edmunds (@PolinaEdmunds) February 15, 2018
Aliona Savchenko has skated for two countries with three partners, been to five Olympics, has ten World medals. And she just won Olympic gold. She's a living legend. She and Bruno absolutely deserved the gold tonight. #figureskating#PyeongChang2018— Mara A. Kuhne (@marakuhne) February 15, 2018
But also, Savchenko is 35 in her fifth Olympics, still voluntarily gets thrown and lifted in deathly terrifying moves, finally wins gold.— Julie Orenstein (@julieo489) February 15, 2018
Meanwhile I'm 23, haven't moved from the couch in 4 hours, and was a little nervous crossing a busy street yesterday.
so after five olympics aliona savchenko will finally get her olympic gold medal, and bruno will keep his vow to not let aliona go home with another olympic bronze— jardin🍯 (@michaeljardins) February 15, 2018
Quick take: For me, that was the greatest pairs free skate in Olympic history. I can't wait to watch it again. Thank you, Aljona Savchenko/Bruno Massot. https://t.co/qDNWPy8CFU#PyeongChang2018#Olympics#figureskatinghttps://t.co/AGmoTojOhE— Jackie Wong (@rockerskating) February 15, 2018
Other golds will be won in PyeongChang, but we just don't see how they'll be able to make us feel like this.