Figure skating has a long history of being a part of every Winter Olympic Games. In addition, it is one of the longest running sports in the world. Did you know that the first ice skating competition was pioneered by the Dutch thousands of years ago? A lot has changed since the first appearances of figure skating, so let's dive into the history.
Figure skating first popped up in Ancient Europe and remnants of skates made from bone are still being discovered today. It is one of the only sports that people also described as an art. This may be thanks to Jackson Haines, a skater and dancer who tied blades to his shoes in 1865. Nowadays, skaters of all ages compete across the world.
Figure skating consists of performances by skaters on ice that are judged by a team of judges. The skaters perform to music, and include skills like jumps, lifts and spins. Skaters compete against other skaters that are their age or skill level in competitions. Many figure skaters train in dance, too, as ballet is often crucial for ice skaters.
There are a few different kinds of figure skating styles, ranging from freestyle performances to couples ice dancing. So although skaters are not competing for goals like other competitive sports, they are competing for points from the judges. Medals are awarded at the end of competitions, typically to the first, second and third place recipients.