‘Olympic Figure Skater Fell Through Ice’ is Satire; Carolina Kostner is Fine, No ‘Emergency Rescue Crews’ Attempt


An article from The Onion–the preeminent satire news website–says that Italian figure skater Carolina Kostner fell through the ice at the Sochi Winter Olympics and required emergency rescue crews to get her out. Many appeared to believe the fake news piece on Wednesday.

“Unfortunately she skated way out into the middle of the rink where the ice was weak and it collapsed instantly when she landed her triple axel,” reads a fake quote from a rescue worker in the satire. “Granted, a world-class athlete like Kostner can withstand the initial shock for a few minutes, but her thin, sparkly leotard will do little to protect her from the deep and frigid water below the ice,” it reads.

The article appears to be making fun of perceptions about Russia’s handling of the Games.

The Onion has a disclaimer on its website, which clearly states that it is satire. “The Onion uses invented names in all its stories, except in cases where public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental,” it says.

But on Twitter and Facebook, people appeared to believe the figure skating article.

“Olympic figure skater falls through thin ice,” one person tweeted. 

Added another, “Wonder if she’s alive!” 

On the Onion’s Facebook page, some users appeared to believe the article.

“Not going to end well! Keep us posted!” one person wrote on the page. “Wow….good place for the Olympics….Russia should never be allowed to have another one until they are truly a 1st world country. That would have NEVER happened in France, UK or US,” another user wrote.

But others stressed that it was merely satire, noting that Olympic skating rinks aren’t built on top of ponds or lakes.

“The reason why this rescue attempt isn’t on the news now is because it’s satire. The Onion is, has always been, and will always be poking fun at things in life and is not to be taken seriously by many people who fail to see the point of the joke,” a Facebook user wrote on the page.

More than a week ago, a fake article from satire site The Daily Currant said that the technician responsible for the “Olympic ring mishap” during the Olympics’ opening ceremony was found dead. More than 500,000 people shared the fake article on Facebook.

Category: Tech Social Media

  • Jennifer Barkworth

    That was a crass and tastless jokke.

    • LJBROCK

      Crass and tasteless, yes, but funny as hell!!

    • Thomas Austin

      That’s why it’s called “dark humor.” It’s not for everyone.

    • DaveR

      Oh come on! It’s called satire. Related words; caricature, parody, spoof, takeoff; comedy, farce, sketch, slapstick. You should know it’s not to be taken seriously as “One of the earliest Greek records of satire can be traced to around 500 B.C.” Grow up and attempt to develop a sense of humor, if only a sense.

      • Jennifer Barkworth

        As I said, not everyone reads the onion. Perhaps it is you who needs to grow up.

        • DaveR

          I understand that at age 12 you might not understand that not everything you read or hear is true. I thought children were supposed to be able to tell if something was real or fantastical by age 6, I guess that study was wrong. I apologize.

  • Jdawg Laurence

    Did people actually believe this? It’s on the onion… The same people must also believe Justin Bieber has talent.

  • Guest

    You can’t “fall through the ice” in a man-made skating rink. Do you want to know what’s under that four inches of ice? Coolant piping and sand, that’s what. Even if this were not so, I’m pretty sure if the ice could handle a giant Zamboni on it, it could handle a 90-pound girl. All facts aside, it’s the Onion. Really, people?

    • Eric Becraft

      Maybe this story was amplified and this article was written to feed your ego? Ever think of that possibility while you are so high looking down on others on your pedestal of righteousness? No, probably not.

  • Jennifer Barkworth

    The point is, that there are some people who don’t read the Onion. Now I love a joke as much as the next person, but with so much turmoil surrounding these Olympics, and injuries that were sustained by some athletes, It just seems ill timed.

  • Freedom Mushaw

    I dont get this joke… How is this funny… seeing or making fun of the possibility of something like this shows a seriously concerning mentality. As it does not really insult Russia at all, but insults the country of “the Onion”‘s origin… in stating people there would fine this intriguing. That is mentally disturbing.

    • DaveR

      1) Some of us could really do without the ice skating, the background stories, the gay male announcers infatuated with the doll like female skaters in their outfits, the language used to describe the skaters routines, the nitpicking of EVERY SINGLE MOTION by the judges…the whole thing begged for a spoof.
      2) The Onion article is SATIRE. Related words; caricature, parody, spoof, takeoff; comedy, farce, sketch, slapstick. Satire is a form of comedy that pokes fun at the human condition, it has been employed since circa 500 B.C. Familiarizing yourself with this art form may help you to grow a sense of humor. Seriously, I say that because I think you need to understand, not intended to be mean. Sorry in advance, ’cause truly, it seems you do not bring a sense of humor with you.
      3) You said “making fun of the possibility of something like this shows a seriously concerning mentality” It is in fact NOT AT ALL possible for a skater to fall through this ice. There is concrete underneath! How is it that people don’t get this? People not understanding this fact, is to me, what is seriously concerning. No skaters were harmed in the making of this, nor could they ever be harmed in such a way. Get it? They are making fun of the seriousness attributed to…ice skating. The drama!
      Also the fact that it has been really WARM at the WINTER Olympic games. See…? It’s dark, sarcastic humor. A bit mental indeed, but you should not be overly concerned. Many of us were ROFL.

    • Andolw

      Yes you are mentally disturbed!! Do you think there is really a danger of them falling through the ice into the freezing water??!?! They just found a lake and built a stadium around it?

  • DaveR

    If I were as dim witted as to not understand that professional ice rinks are built on top of concrete, only to figure that out later, and so naive as to not understand The Onion and the meaning of satire, or to have a healthy skepticism as to the veracity of such a report, I would soon be deleting my comments proving my naive tee and illiteracy to the world, from the internet for the world to see.

  • http://bhousley.wordpress.com/ Bill Housley

    Not funny.

  • http://bhousley.wordpress.com/ Bill Housley

    DaveR– Dim witted and uninformed are two entirely different things. I knew that they don’t build those competion ice rinks over ponds, but I don’t automatically just assume that the Russians do things the smart way.

    • DaveR

      The most powerful self education tool ever devised, the computer, is being so thoroughly misused. It defies explanation. News flash. Not everything on the internet is true. Further, just ’cause you don’t understand, doesn’t mean it’s not funny.

      • DaveR

        PS – The dim witted are often uninformed.

  • LeAnne Bunker

    so why is this not on CBS,NBC, ABC, CNN so FAKE

    • http://www.bookdirtblog.blogspot.com/ Kelly Robinson

      Do you watch Saturday Night Live and call “fake” on all the sketches?

  • DaveR

    Found on the Onion’s Facebook page. Commentary by FB member Bryan Harrison “Yep. When I see people responding seriously to an Onion article, I am amazed they even mustered the brain power to operate their computers.”

    • Eric Becraft

      Does it ever occur to you that it might be you that is incapable of understanding other people being sarcastic? Mmmm? Maybe in your fragile ego state, you see what feeds that ego without questioning it? Mmmm?

  • Aaron Delostrinos

    Wow! Anybody that made this “Fake” article must be trying to make fun of Sochi, Russia. Sochi is a nice place to go to but why would anyone want to make fun of it? Plus many people who thought it was real made more fun of Sochi. What has this community come to?

    • SIGmund Fried

      Zero sense of humour displayed here.

    • J2neS

      but sir, u need to realize a few things here. the way the Olympics were handled by the people responsible makes it rather a big farce then anything serious … when u get factual proof of hotel lobbys being floorless and toilet paper flushing being banned (making u leave ur dirty paper pieces stink in the bathrooms trash bin), makes one wonder, if their attempt was to imply these Olympics are being thrown into the trash bin aswell … there was 6-7 years easily to organize it in atleast some reasonable level, and the budget grew over $51 billion, naturally around third of that goes to bribes as its a custom in Russia, which leaves them with ~ $34 billion to execute the plans … i personally see great lack of common sense in those people responsible, if they cant make due with that kind of money and half of the infra-structure is being built when theres thousands of journalists aswell as athletes and spectators alrdy in Sochi ….

      Russians have an excellent expression, ´pakasuha´, which means things have to look alright even if they are not, Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 is pakasuha at its finest!

    • GeographicScholar

      I know that this is about making fun of Sochi. People have been making fun of Sochi from day one. One reason I figured this video was satire. One reason I feel like more people need to be educated about the geography of Sochi. There is more to that part of Russia than the shore. I even posted a video about it. I will post it again.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wQEClRX3wg

      • mommadog1

        One HUGE other reason right there for them not to have had the Winter Olympics there!! Not my reason for boycotting the olympics this year, but it sure adds to it…

        • GeographicScholar

          You didn’t watch the video, did you?

          • mommadog1

            Yes I sure in the hell did!

          • GeographicScholar

            If you did, you would understand that the point of that video is that Sochi could pull it off. If Vancouver could do it, so could Sochi. Sochi might have a subtropical climate, but that is where the indoor events are held. The outdoor events, the ones where cold weather is required, those are held in Krasnaya Polyana. If you listened closely, there are parallels between the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2010 Winter Olympics in terms of geography. And the fact that you responded in a vulgar way tells me you weren’t paying any attention.

          • Guest

            The word hell is vulgar to you? Well I didn’t like the way you assumed I never watched the video. So back at you! You missed my point anyhow, so go look in the mirror. Stupid stupid people..

      • Aaron Delostrinos

        Thank you for understanding me.

        • GeographicScholar

          No problem.

    • mommadog1

      omg, sochi is NOT a nice place to visit. They used all the money meant for their own people who are suffering, to build all that crap for the olympics 2 years ago that will in no way benefit the people of sochi!!! You have NO idea how awful it is for the people there.

      • Aaron Delostrinos

        Sochi, Russia is a good place. It is a resort area. Here I will send you a link of Sochi, Russia and you better watch it and eat your words. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zqf0fxuOMXQ GO CHECK IT OUT. This is a resort will post another website abut Sochi.

        • Guest

          I am not talking about how “nice” looking the place is. I am talking about how they treat their people. All that money spent on the olympics was supposed to go to the people to put indoor plumbing in!! Rio is doing the same crap to their people for the summer olympics! They evicted people (thousands) and tore down their homes to make room for the olympics. This kind of crap is wrong. And Rio is also filthy, they said it is a problem and they have to clean it all up and only have 2 years to do it all. They are behind. IMO they should not pick these countries that are nowhere near ready or where they have to tear down homes to make room to build for the olympics. People are suffering due to the Olympics and the countries they are picking..

  • myloridarlin

    So totally not funny. Satire? I live in Wisconsin where people perish from falling through the ice every year. Really, really in poor taste.

    • SIGmund Fried

      Then stay off the ice, dipshit.

      • myloridarlin

        Evidently I am still here to post this. So, reasonably, I have not fallen through the ice and drowned. That would make YOU the dipshit. Go take a walk on thin ice. What an idiot you are in your attempt to be snarky. Lol, Dumbass.

        • mommadog1

          You do know that ice rinks are only a few inches thick and NOT over actual water like a lake, or pool right? They are kept frozen from beneath… Lets watch names we call as they often just make us point our fingers back at ourselves… ;)

          • myloridarlin

            Perhaps you should look up further before you think you know who was calling names, thinking they were being witty in the first place. And I was not speaking of an ice rink, I was speaking of the number of people each year who fall through the ice on the lakes and drown here in Wisconsin, which you DO know are deeper than an ice rink, RIGHT????. None the less, the “satire” is still in very poor taste.

      • myloridarlin

        Lol…since, obviously I am making this comment, I have NOT fallen through the ice and drowned. So who is the dipshit here? AND you reported my comment? You are pathetic in your attempt to appear witty and, evidently, your comprehension of what you read.

    • GeographicScholar

      I would definitely agree that some things should not be made fun off. Falling through the ice is not funny, especially when one considers the threat of hypothermia.

      • myloridarlin

        I live in a college town. Every year several kids, usually after a night of drinking, try to take a short cut across the lake, and their bodies turn up after the thaw. It’s so sad and totally preventable. UWO needs to educate the out of state kids of the dangers of the cold and ice here.

        • GeographicScholar

          I understand what you are talking about, My father is from Wisconsin(Milwaukee), so I am familiar with what the climate is like there. I like to skate sometimes. I have never done it outdoors because I live in the Atlanta area(lakes never freeze here). I know better than to drink and then go on ice like that. It is something that can be prevented.

          • myloridarlin

            It’s usually guys attending college here. We’ve only had 1 go missing this year. I would hope UW includes a lecture about the dangers of walking on the ice during orientation.

          • GeographicScholar

            That would be a very good idea. Ice is nothing to play with.

  • GeographicScholar

    This is why more people need to learn geography. If one were to consider the logistics and the geography of the Winter Olympics, one would understand that the skating events can be held anywhere. Skating is done INDOORS. Stuff like bobsledding is held outdoors, in Krasnaya Polyana.

    Here are a video about this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wQEClRX3wg

  • frabjousday

    Trolololol

  • IceyYou

    I personally enjoy reading the onion, and cannot understand why people don’t get it. Satire is one of the greatest and most hilarious forms of comedy, in my opinion. Simply because of things such as this. People are gullible, and the fact that they fall for something so clearly sarcastic makes it even more hilarious.

  • Brenda Day Cherry

    I fail to see anything funny in these types of articles.

  • GeographicScholar

    I don’t like some of the things Putin has done. However, I feel like that satire video was more or less a way to make fun of Sochi, and to make fun of Russia in general. As soon as the Olympics started, it has been “hate on Russia” the whole time.


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