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Figure skating is a real classic at the Olympic Games. Championships in this aesthetic sport were held as early as 1908 as part of the Olympic Games. At that time there were no independent Winter Games at all. Since the first Winter Olympics (1924 in Chamonix / France) figure skating has officially been part of the programme. Ice dance was only added in 1976.
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Figure skating is a certain form of ice skating that is characterized by the execution of certain figures, jumps and pirouettes. A certain repertoire of standard jumps is prescribed, most of which are named after their inventors (e.g. Lutz, Rittberger, Salchow, Axel). As single disciplines ladies, men, couple skaters and ice dancers show an original program (short freestyle) as well as a freestyle.
Pair Skating and Ice Dance: The Differences
The difference between pair running and ice dancing is that the pair runners are allowed to perform jumps and lifting figures at head height. Ice dancers, on the other hand, are only allowed to lift figures up to hip height, but not to jump at all. Their performances are more based on standard dancing or ballet and concentrate more on the artistic aspect.
Sheet music up to 6.0
After the compulsory programme was abolished a few years ago, which involved the most exact possible tracing of certain figures on the ice, the athletes now only receive marks of up to 6.0 from nine judges in the short freestyle and freestyle. The A mark is awarded for the sporting content and the B mark for the artistic value of the performance. However, these marks are only aids. The places on which the jury places the runners are decisive. This results in a place number. The winner is the one who finishes first at least five times. In the event of a tie, the freestyle will decide.
Freestyle counts double
Every runner has the possibility to present himself to the audience and the judges with two choreographies according to self-chosen music during a competition. The original programme, which must contain eight prescribed elements, lasts a maximum of 2:40 minutes. There is more room for artistic development during the freestyle. Not only is it twice as long, it also counts twice.
Ice skates already 4,000 years old
The history of figure skating goes back to the invention of skates a few thousand years ago. Already 4,000 years ago people moved on the ice with the help of skates made of bone. These were later replaced by wooden and then by iron runners. The first ice skating clubs already existed in the middle of the 18th century.
Ice-skating star Katarina Witt
One of the most popular figure skaters of all times is Katharina Witt, who now only participates in professional ice shows. In her active time she triumphed as an athlete of the GDR in 1984 in Sarajevo and 1988 in Calgary with the individual victory in the women’s category. Here you can visit her homepage.
Here you can find all relevant information about figure skating. Is figure skating the right sport for my child? At what age can you start figure skating, how much time do I have to spend and what does it all cost? What is the goal of figure skating? Figure skating depends on an artistic execution of jumps, pirouettes and steps.
Why should you figure skate?
It is one of the few sports that covers the field of dance in the form of an Olympic discipline. It combines creativity, technique, art, dance and athletics. As an athlete, you have the opportunity to enchant the audience and get a whole stage on your own.
At what age does it make sense to start figure skating?
Every child from the age of 3 can start skating in the nearest skating club.
What is the distribution of boys/girls?
In the range up to 18 years it is about 80% girls and 20% boys.
Do boys and girls do the sport together?
Yes, boys and girls do the training together. The disciplines ice dancing and pair skating always consist of a boy and a girl. However, the pairing usually takes place between the ages of 10/12 and 15/16, since the individual skater’s versatile ice-skating specific training must be available beforehand as a basis for the pair disciplines.
How many hours will the sport take per week?
You start with about 5 hours per week. The amount will then increase over time to about 20 hours per week.
How often do you train?
You start with 3 sessions on the ice per week. In addition there is one hour of athletics and one hour of ballet. Later the training is done about 6 days a week.
Is the sport practiced all year round or are there breaks?
This varies depending on ice availability. The main season, however, is in all ice rinks from October to March.
Besides these months there are mostly training camps in ice sports centres, which are open throughout and an extensive off-ice programme with a focus on coordination, as we are a technical-compository sport.
What is the minimum age for competitions?
From 4 years.
How many competitions take place?
Everybody can decide for himself how it makes sense in season planning and whether competitive or popular sport is practised.
How far are the journeys to competitions?
The young children are usually taken to competitions that take place in the surrounding ice rinks. The higher you run, the greater the radius in which the competitions take place.
How much can/must one be involved as a parent?
Depending on the place of residence and the independence of the children, this varies. The children have to be brought to the training and the competitions. The trainer looks after the children on site. All trainers usually work on an independent basis. If this sport is to be played on a competitive basis, additional financial support must be provided in any case.
How high are the membership fees?
On the one hand, each association has to pay a membership fee. On the other hand, an additional amount must be paid for private lessons. The amount of the fees varies so much that no details can be given.
What equipment do I have to buy myself and what does it cost?
Ice skates are the most important. In some clubs you can borrow some for the beginning, but you should buy your own skates early. The price range is extremely different depending on brand, quality and use. For competitions you need a dress or a nice outfit. Also for this the prices are very different.
How often is new equipment needed?
Depending on growth, you need skates and clothing once a season.
How many figure skating clubs are there?
Approx. 180 in Germany.
Is there an overview of all clubs?
Overview of clubs
How many members are there?
Currently there are about 18,500 members in Germany. About 80% of them are female.
Is there a national team?
Yes, figure skating is an individual sport, but most athletes train in a coaching team. The training courses starting with the national squad always take place in the group.
How good is the national team?
The German athletes compete internationally and the German pair pair Savchenko/Massot win the 2nd place at the last World Championship.
Is figure skating Olympic?
Can you become a professional?
Yes. From a certain cadre level, you can join the sports promotion programme of the German Armed Forces/ Police and practise the sport professionally.
What is the risk of injury?
The risk of injury is very low with a sufficiently preventive off-ice training for the stability of the joints and the middle body, since it is not a contact sport. In the disciplines pair running and ice dancing there is a higher risk due to lifts than in the single discipline.
Which injuries are typical?
Bruising due to falls during jumps is to be expected.
Are there any long-term health effects?
No, none are known.