Friday, 2 March 2012


Central Park New York 1892

IN 1782
Ice skating has an incredible long history.
If you have never stood on skates on a smooth surface like ice, you will never know what the first attempt feels like.

Wanting to skate like all these people on ice, gliding effortless across. Yet you stand there clinging to the barrier or friend and wobble from side to side. Oh the dream and yet it feels impossible to let go and glide across.


The country which invented skating was Scandinavia. It is thought that about 2000 ago the Scandinavians, having to cross frozen rivers and lakes, strapped animal’s bones to their feet. From that humble beginning it slowly but surely developed ice skating into a high-tech sport we know today.
There are two kinds of competitive ice skating. One is figure skating which involves jumps, spins and dance steps. The other one is Speed Skating which involves a race on ice. Both ice skating sports are controlled by the International Skating Union (ISU).

The contestant either skates single or in pairs and are based on free skating which involves jumps, spins, and steps. The free skating spins consists of sit spins, camel spins and upright spins. The jumps consist of the Axel-Paulsen, Lutz and Salchow which were named after skater who developed them. Jumps consists of rotation in the air and if the skater does it twice or three times it becomes a double or triple Axel.
The Single skater starts with the original free programme which is compulsory jumps, spins and with connecting steps. Skaters lose marks if they change the set even if it is harder. The second stage has no set and the skaters can show and choose their programme. Free skating standards is always improved. The competitive skater has to keep up with the latest standard.
The Pair skating is the more spectacular side of the sport. The male skater makes long, whirling jumps with his partner. He also lifts her high over his head which demands great strength and bravery. The contestants have to start with the original programme which has several compulsory movements. After that they are allowed throws in the following long and free programme.
For the single as well as pairs competitions the original programme has to be no longer than two minutes and 40 seconds. The long free programme must not be more than four and half minutes for men and four minutes for women.
It is performed by couples who have to dance to the rhythm of their choice. They don't need the strength as in Figure Skating because overhead lifts are not allowed. They get judged for dancing in style and timing.
The ice dance contest has three sections and lay down by ISU. In the compulsory dance the couple has to skate two sets from a standard list usually from waltz, tango and quickstep. For the original dance the ISU sets the Rheta but the couple choose the music and their own steps. For the free dance the couple choose their music and steps to dance a dramatic four minutes.
Two referees, a timekeeper and a panel of judges make sure that the figure skating event is held according to their rules. The number of judges is always an odd number. They hold up cards which show marks out of six. The black number shows the overall marking and the red shows the tenth of marks. Big events have an electronic scoreboard.
The judge gives two marks for every programme One is for technical - how difficult the movement were and their performance. The other is for artistic impression - style and drama. Each judge adds the points up and place the skaters accordingly.

No comments:

Post a Comment