Figure skating is an artistic and athletic ice sport where individuals, duos, or groups perform on ice skates. It combines intricate footwork, spins, jumps, and lifts, choreographed to music. Skaters are judged based on technical execution, artistic impression, and overall performance. The technical score evaluates the difficulty and precision of the jumps and spins, while the artistic score focuses on choreography, interpretation, and presentation.
Key skills include balance, strength, flexibility, and rhythm. Advanced skaters master complex moves like triple jumps and lifts in pairs skating.
Figure skating is popular in countries like the United States, Canada, Russia, Japan, and South Korea. Major competitions include the Winter Olympics, the World Championships, the European Championships, and the Grand Prix series, attracting top skaters globally and showcasing the sport's elegance and athleticism.
Figure skating began in Europe in the 17th century as a way to navigate frozen canals and lakes. Originally, skaters carved figures on the ice, leading to the term "figure skating." The sport evolved from simply tracing patterns to incorporating jumps and spins. It gained popularity as a recreational and competitive activity, with the first organized competitions emerging in the 19th century. The International Skating Union was established in 1892, standardizing rules. Over time, figure skating expanded to include singles, pairs, and ice dance. The introduction of artificial ice rinks allowed year-round training and performance, significantly advancing the sport's technique and popularity.
Figure skating is expected to grow and evolve with ongoing innovation in training techniques and performance styles. The integration of advanced technology in training, like virtual reality and biomechanical analysis, will enhance skater development. The sport's global appeal will likely increase, bringing more diversity in participants and styles. Contemporary trends show a shift towards more athletic and complex jumps, especially in singles skating. Pairs and ice dance emphasize creativity and storytelling, attracting broader audiences. As it gains popularity in new regions, figure skating will continue to be a highlight in major events like the Winter Olympics, showcasing a blend of artistry, athleticism, and cultural diversity.
Figure Skaters are based on a point system. There are two types of marks a skater can receive: a technical and a program component score. Adding both scores result in the total composite score and whichever skater has the highest score wins.
Ice skating can burn, on average, 630 calories an hour. Doing laps on an ice rink can help burn 387 – 663 calories depending on the intensity level and weight. Not only does ice skating help burn calories quickly, but it also helps with balance, coordination and muscle strength in your legs and glutes.
There are multiple ways of stopping when ice skating: snowplow stops, t-stops, and front t-stops. The most common way to stop is the snowplow stop: start by moving the flat portion of the blade and scratching the ice for a snowplow stop. Then put out one foot, click the flat part and bend the knees.