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Take a Leap of Faith; Jump into Figure Skating

Jessica Frank | Writer

Figure skating combines athletic power, artistic grace, and balance to create a choreographed performance often accompanied with music. According to Mental Floss, a website that shares fascinating facts and inspires to help their audience feel smarter, it is the oldest Winter Olympic sporting event, dating back to 1908 when it was first held.

There are many different forms of ice skating, which include: men’s singles, ladies singles, pairs, free skating, ice dancing, and synchronized skating.

One of the key elements that go into the competitions are the different types of jumps. The most common–and crowd favorites– are the axel, lutz, flip, loop, salchow, and the toe loop. Jumps are defined by the number of revolutions as well. Some jumps are as simple as singles and doubles, however even they can be quite difficult. Some advanced skaters can perform triple and quadruple revolutions.

Another beautiful aspect to figure skating are the costumes and the footwear. For the ladies, it is typical to wear an ice skating dress with a skirt all the way around the waist. As for the men, their attire consists of bodyshirts, black pants, and button down shirts.

You don’t need to be an expert to enjoy artistic expression in figure skating. Even the judge’s scoring does not define the artistic value, it only adds to the anticipation of who we see wins.

Retired U.S. gold medalist Scott Hamilton said, “I just try to touch people’s hearts in a way through skating, so they’re not just witnessing a performance, they’re feeling a performance and they’re a part of it.”

To put it simply…it is truly ballet on ice.


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