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Gateway to the Summer Games - Spotlight Sports Griffin Publishing Group

Figure Skating
Figure skating was the first winter sport included in the Olympic Games when it appeared at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London. The singles and pairs competitions also appeared in the 1920 Antwerp Summer Games before making their winter debut in Chamonix in 1924.

The major types of competitive figure skating are individual men's and women's competitions, pairs skating, ice dancing, and precision skating. In individual competitions, a single skater performs required elements and is judged on how cleanly and artistically the motions are executed. Pairs skating consists of two skaters performing together. In ice dancing, partners carry out the artistic motions of dance on skates. Precision skating, which is a highly structured activity, consists of a team of skaters who perform choreographed maneuvers

Interesting Facts
  • The United States has a history of top figure skaters such as Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, Scott Hamilton, Debi Thomas, Michelle Kwan and Tara Lapinski.
  • Judges rate how a skater presents himself or herself, how a program relates to the music, and how the skater utilizes speed and the ice surface. Judges award a presentation mark in both the short program and the free skate of men's, ladies' and pairs competition.
  • Young people interested in figure skating may practice many of the skills needed to increase balance and grace by using in-line skates or roller blades.
To Learn More About Figure Skating
Other Winter Olympic Sports

Alpine Skiing


Figure Skating

Ice Hockey


Ski Jumping

Speed Skating


General Sports Links
Olympians will compete in dozens of sports this winter. Even though Gateway to the Winter Games can't feature them all, you can learn about each and every one by visiting the sites listed below.

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