Figure skating fans have been left shocked after referees allowed an American competitor to continue with a pairs routine moments after falling on her head and appearing to lose consciousness.
Ashley Cain was competing with Timothy LeDuc at the Golden Spin of Zagreb in Croatia when the scary incident occurred.
LeDuc lost his grip on his partner at the end of an overhead lift during their long program.
The back of Cain’s head hit the ice before LeDuc fell on top of her.
The 23-year-old initially appeared unconscious when LeDuc lifted her head off the ice.
Cain is the Texas-born daughter of Australian figure skating champion Peter Cain, who won four national titles and competed in the 1980 Winter Olympics with sister Elizabeth.
In a moment that has sparked controversy within the figure skating community, Cain got up to complete the program.
LeDuc appeared to check with his partner, holding her head with both hands, before Cain resumed.
She occasionally appeared wobbly on her skates and took some time to regain her rhythm and timing with LeDuc.
Referees are allowed to stop programs if they believe medical attention is required.
“If, in the opinion of the Referee, medical attention is required, he must stop the performance by an acoustic signal and follow the Medical Protocol (Communication 2049 or any update thereof),” states the International Skating Union rulebook.
“The Referee, after consulting with the respective Team Physician, or, if not present, the medical doctor provided by the Organizer, he will decide if the Competitor is allowed back to compete.
“If the Referee does not allow the skater to resume within three minutes since he stopped skating his program the competitor will be considered withdrawn.”
Cain was tended to immediately after the routine, with a neck brace attached and ice put on the back of her head.
US Figure Skating said an update on Cain’s health would be shared after a formal assessment.
Cain, who has been skating with LeDuc since May 2016, is the 2018 Four Continents silver medallist and 2017 US national bronze medalist.