As Ice skating happens every four years and you are missing out on a lot of stuff about the behind the scenes due to this long wait. Don’t worry! We have gathered some facts about Ice skating that will make you appreciate this perfect pairing of Art and Athleticism.


The Oldest winter game


Debuted in the London Olympic Games in the year 1908, Ice skating predates the beginning of the formal winter games for more than 16 years.

winter game


Skates used to be made of animal bones


Thousands of years ago, there were no proper means of transportation in Finland, that is when the idea of strapping animal bones to their feet came across which would help them glide on the frozen lakes rather than walking around them. Metal blades did not come into practice until the 13th century.



Ice Dancing grew from Waltz


Modern Ice Skating involves Ice dancing, an activity which can be dated back to London in 1862. The most concrete example for Ice dancing comes from the 1880s where the Vienna Skating Club began to mimic Waltz on ice, which was not recognised by the Winter games as a competitive sport until 1976.



The First world championships were Gender-mixed


In an Event in 1896, there was only one division for men, but when the world championship was held in London of 1902, Madge Syers entered the competition and won second place. Due to which a separate division was made of women after three years.



A plane crash killed wiped the entire US team


When American skaters we travelling to Prague in the year 1961 the plane crashed and killed everyone on board. Due to respect for those who were lost the competition was cancelled for that year.  It took a lot of time for America to rebound from the incident again the International presence.


The blade is serrated in front


There is a barely visible serrated edge on the tip of the blade which allows the Ice skaters to pivot and take stop short. Also known as a toe pick it enables the ice skater to grab the ice and help prepare for a jump.



Male skaters cannot do certain moves


certain moves


The layback spin is a move that requires skaters to lean back with their shoulders and head putting a considerable amount of pressure on their spinal cord. This demands flexibility and is generally notices that women seem to have a lot of success doing this spin than their male counterparts.



300RPM is the rate at which they spin


When a skater executes a spinning jump, he/she does it at more than 300 revolutions per hours (RPM) which is as much RPM as an astronaut’s centrifugal training.

Figure skaters often find themselves woefully under-represented (or misrepresented) in entertainment. In the 1970s there was perhaps the most realistic skating film of all, Ice Castles, followed by the unlikely (but classic) romantic comedy/sports film The Cutting Edge. Following these in recent decades were several reiterations of The Cutting Edge franchise, spoofs like On Thin Ice and Blades of Glory, and an unrealistic but cute Disney film Ice Princess. There was also at least one Hallmark movie which showcased figure skating but only as a plot device for romance, Most recently, a modern remake of Ice Castles was shown in theaters, and unlike most of the other skating films, featured National level figure skater Taylor Firth in the starring role and included several skating performances performed by Firth.

In the early 2000s, there was discussion of an “ICE Channel” coming to select cable providers which would focus on figure skating and, among other shows and competitions, feature a figure skating soap opera. As I’m sure others were, I was disappointed when the channel never came to pass. The idea of a skating soap opera sounded intriguing, and the idea of being able to watch skating any time was very appealing.

Luckily, former figure skater Caitlin McCarthy is developing a show that is being described as “a soap opera on skates”, called FREE SKATE.

On cold winter afternoons at the Olympic Speed Skating Oval in Lake Placid you may have seen a handful of rugged individuals determinedly pursuing their dreams of Olympic success in the face of a myriad of adverse weather conditions.

One of these skaters, Esther Munoz, finished her senior year at Lake Placid High School, then moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, to pursue her career in speed skating. Her training partner, Fletcher Codd, is still here and in his final year of high school.

Codd, 17, is looking forward to another productive winter season in Lake Placid, and plans to use his training time here as a springboard into the next phase of his development after graduation.

“I think my season was great last year,” Codd said. “I really had fun and worked myself hard. Most of my goals I achieved, and I was very happy with that.

“This is my last year at Lake Placid, (and) I had a lot of fun while I was here. For further education, I was pursuing going to college out in the Salt Lake City, Utah area, but I haven’t made up my mind on what school to apply to yet.”

LAKE PLACID–The Lake Placid Olympic Oval, which in the past has served as a training venue for Olympic champions like Charles Jewtraw and Jack Shea, has also helped develop more recent speed skating champions like Apolo Anton Ohno, Shani Davis, Trevor Marsicano, and others before they moved on to the US Team. Now, after training at the Lake Placid Oval for several years, Lake Placid High School graduate Esther Munoz has made the next step in her training: a move to Salt Lake City, Utah, where she can train on the famous indoor Olympic Oval surrounded by elite skaters and coaches.

“I wanted to move to Salt Lake City because I wanted to be able to have access to an oval early on in the skating season, and also wanted to be surrounded by the National team.”

Lake Placid’s oval is a beautiful outdoor venue that continues to be used for races (including the US Long Track Age Group Nationals this season) and as a public speed skating and leisure skating facility. But, as the National and International competitive schedule has become more demanding, starts earlier in the season, and meets are held mainly on indoor tracks, it is considered the best course of action for aspiring elite skaters to train indoors. Not only is the ice available for training earlier than in outdoor rinks, but ice conditions can be controlled and skaters don’t have to battle rough ice, wind, or other elements as they would outdoors.

“I know that when I’m skating outside, my technique hurts a little bit because you’re trying to fight the wind and the weather. I don’t think about riding my skates, I think about just stepping and using everything I have to fight through that wind. But in indoor, you feel the glide, you can feel your edges better and concentrate more on your technique because you’re not trying to fight the wind and the weather. So you actually have to learn how to ride your skates longer, and think about pushing through your hips more.”

Most skating fans know the tragic story; in November 1995, while training with coach Marina Nueva and partner and wife Ekaterina “Katia” Goordeeva in Lake Placid for the Stars on Ice tour’s traditional opening show, Sergei Grinkov collapsed in the US rink. Initially reports suggested that he collapsed, but later reports stated that he “dropped to the ice gently”, sitting down after feeling dizzy. He passed away a little over an hour later after being transported to the Adirondack Medical Center nearby. Cause of death was found to be a heart attack; Grinkov was only 28 years old.

Gordeeva and Grinkov, called “G&G” by their fans, are considered one of the greatest pairs teams of all time, and as stated by Dick Button in this New York Times article :

“They were the quintessentially perfect pair,” said Dick Button, the two-time Olympic champion. “They had the strength, power and flow that so many skaters at the top of the world simply don’t have. He was superb in holding himself back to highlight the efforts of his partner. You could always see him pointing the focus of your eye to her.”

Grinkov’s sudden death was a shock to all the cast members, and the show was postponed.

As stated in Barry Wilner’s book “Stars on Ice: An Intimate Look at Skating’s Greatest Tour”:

Sergei was buried in Moscow on the same day Stars on Ice was to debut for the season in Lake Placid. The cast had continued rehearsing, then everyone left upstate New York for Thanksgiving weekend. When they returned, their heavy hearts told them the right thing to do. “We have to put on a great show for Sergei and Katia,” Scott said. Then days after Sergei’s death, the 1995-96 tour debuted at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid. “We couldn’t get it done fast enough, and I hope you understand,” Scott told the crowd. “What we’re presenting on Sergei’s shoulders, is the best we’ve got, and I’m sure it’s going to be good enough. We’re going to give you something real special.” The show’s first act closed with a tearful introduction by Scott of “G&G,” inviting the spectators to close their eyes and imagine the pair was on the ice. Grieg’s “Concerto in A Minor,” the music to which Katia and Sergei would have skated, echoed throughout the arena.”

These poignant moments have become part of Stars on Ice–and figure skating–history. Later, Gordeeva wrote “My Sergei-A Love Story” about her relationship with Grinkov.