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Figure Skating

Figure Skating  
Watch these events

Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje/THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward


Single Skating

Pairs Skating

Ice Dance

Team Event

What's this sport all about:

The skates you see today, which allow skaters to do complex turns, were first introduced in 1850.

Figure skating became more creative in 1860 when a ballet master from Vienna added elements of dance to the sport.

It's called "figure skating" because skating designs like figure eights and loops (called "figures") into the ice was a required part of the competition until the 1990s.

In Ice Dancing, the skating couple can't be apart from each other for more than five seconds at a time.

This will be the first year that the Men's, Women's and Pairs competitions can use music with lyrics. Ice dancers could already do this.

Canada has won 25 medals in figure skating since our first time at the podium in 1932 in Lake Placid.

There are 9 judges, all representing different countries, that judge all aspects of figure skating routines.

When to watch

First day
of events:
Last day
of events:
FEB 25

Our Canadian Athletes


Things to watch for

Photo: American Michelle Kwan does a layback spin in Salt Lake, 2002. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)

Layback spin: This popular difficult spin — where the back is arched and the free leg is drawn up a bit — is usually only performed by female skaters.

Photo: Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford compete in pairs short program at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Star lift: There are a lot of lifts in pairs competition, but you'll recognize this one because the female skater's arms and legs make her look like a star in the air.

Photo: China's Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao attempt a throw quad salchow at the Turin 20016 Olympic Winter Games (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

Salchow: You're probably hearing the announcers call a lot of jumps "sow cows," but they're actually spelled "Salchow." They're named after Ulrich Salchow, who invented the move.

Go Further

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Cottonball’s EIP Club: Kaetlyn Osmond

Winter Sports — Skating Hero

Winter Sports — Skating Hero

Super Gear Quiz

Can you tell what kind of athlete uses this gear?

According To Kids

According to Kids: Figure Skating