loading Loading... Please wait...

Understanding Olympic Figure Skating

Posted by

Two days from now all eyes will be on Vancouver, British Columbia and on the hundreds of extremely talented athletes who joined the competition. It is helpful if you have a basic understanding of the games these athletes will be participating in so you could appreciate the kind of skills that will be performed in the next few weeks.

Figure skating, one of the most beautiful but difficult winter sports, takes center stage. To compete in an Olympic level it will require a great deal of training and instruction.

Let us begin with a little background of this famous sport. 168 years ago in Scotland, the first skating club was organized. It was most likely conceptualized as an exercise other than anything else. 28 years later, someone came up with the idea of incorporating dance element with gliding on the ice. This is what we know now as figure skating.

Currently, there are 3 categories of figure skating in the Olympic games. The categories are singles, pairs and ice dancing. In the singles event, the men and women are to compete separately. The athletes should perform 8 routines with various degrees of difficulty and end with a bit of free style skating. In the pairs category, the aim is to execute synchronized movements like overhead lifts, spins, throws and death spirals. It is similar to ballroom dancing performed in an ice skating rink.

The scores are based on a 6.0 system where marks are given for the required elements, technical merit and presentation. Though there are 16 judges, it is quickly narrowed to 9 by random selection from which the highest and lowest scores are eliminated. This results to just 7 scores from the judges which are then averaged in order to select the overall winner.

Nancy Smith is co owner of RobbinsSports.com. It is an online retailer specializing in basketball backboards and punching dummies.