Speedskater celebrates medal with a near-striptease

Olga Graf celebrated Russia's first medal by unzipping ... but forgot she was bare underneath.

Pavel Golovkin

SOCHI, Russia — A moment of triumph nearly turned embarrassing for Russian speedskater Olga Graf.

The 30-year-old gave the home country a reason to cheer Sunday, winning Russia’s first medal when she took a surprising bronze in the women’s 3,000 meters Sunday.

She even got a note of praise from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

When Graf’s time flashed on the scoreboard – 4 minutes, 3.47 seconds was a personal best – the crowd at Adler Arena erupted in cheers. She whooped it up on her warm-down lap, then unzipped her skin-tight suit right down to the belly button.

She was wearing nothing underneath.

”I totally forgot,” Graf said sheepishly through a translator. ”We have very good suits and they are very tight. … You just want to breathe and you want to take off your suit.”

When she realized her faux pas, Graf quickly zipped the suit back up with a mortified smile.

”Only afterward,” she said, ”did I realize that maybe this video will appear on YouTube. But I don’t think it will be so bad.”