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Sports

Figure Skating

Kirsten and Michael perform a pair spin on the ice.
Canada's Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro compete in the pair skating free skate at PyeongChang 2018. (Roberto Schmidt/Getty Images)

What's it all about?

When you're at the ice rink with your friends and family for a fun skate day, are you thinking "Look at me! I bet I could do a spin!" Or maybe you're already taking lessons and thinking of competing. Either way, you should check out the best of the best in figure skating.

How it's played

Things to watch for

Russia's Evgenia Medvedeva competes in the women's single skate at PyeongChang 2018. (Mladen Antonov/Getty Images)
Russia's Evgenia Medvedeva competes in the women's single skate at PyeongChang 2018. (Mladen Antonov/Getty Images)

Catch foot layback spin

  • You'll see this elegant upright spin a lot in competition.
  • The skater leans back and brings up one leg towards their head. They hold onto the skate with their hands.
  • The move can be done upright or with the body tilted to the side.
  • It can increase the technical score of their routines.
France's Mae Berenice Meite competes in the women's single free skate at PyeongChang 2018. (Robert Schmidt/Getty Images)
France's Mae Berenice Meite competes in the women's single free skate at PyeongChang 2018. (Robert Schmidt/Getty Images)

Camel spin

  • You'll see these spins a lot in both the pairs and individual events.
  • The skater holds their leg straight out behind them at hip level.
  • In pairs skating the skaters will hold on to each other during the spin, making a T shape.
Mia Suzuki and Ryuchi Kihara of Japan compete in the team event in pairs free skate at PyeongChang 2018. (Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Mia Suzuki and Ryuchi Kihara of Japan compete in the team event in pairs free skate at PyeongChang 2018. (Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Death spiral

  • It sounds scary... but don't worry, dying isn't part of the move.
  • The male skater spins while holding the hand of his female partner.
  • Her body is horizontal and it looks like she's going to touch the ice, but only her skates can touch!
Action packed facts.
  • Thousands of years ago, skates were used for transportation in Scandinavia. They strapped animal bones to their feet to glide on frozen lakes.

  • Spinning jumps can reach speeds of more than 300 revolutions per minute — that's as much as astronauts in centrifuge training!

  • You won't ever hear music with vocals being played during a competition. That's a big no-no!

  • Skaters have been known to lose points if the judges think their costume is in poor taste.

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