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The World Figure Skating Championships

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A Figure Skater Competes at the World Figure Skating Championships

A Figure Skater Competes at the World Figure Skating Championships

Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

Worlds - The Most Prestigious Figure Skating Competition:

The World Figure Skating Championships is the most prestigious of all figure skating competitions. The only event that is considered more important is the Olympic figure skating event.

To qualify to compete in worlds is an honor for any figure skater.

Events:

There are four events that take place at the World Figure Skating Championships: Men, Ladies, Pairs, and Ice Dancing.

Countries:

Each country that participates in the World Figure Skating Championships must be a member of the International Skating Union (ISU). The ISU is one of the oldest international sport federations in the world.

Each country may send at least one competitor from each branch of figure skating to worlds.

If skaters from certain countries did well in the previous year's competition, those countries are sometimes able to send two or three competitors for some events. No more than three representatives from each country can be sent from each branch of figure skating.

Age of Competitors:

Every competitor must be at least fifteen years old.

First World Figure Skating Championships:

The first World Figure Skating Championships took place in 1896 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Only men competed in that competition.

Historical Dates:

Ladies began competing at the World Figure Skating Championships in 1906. The pairs event was added in 1908. Ice Dancing was not included at worlds until 1952.

Separate Worlds for Synchronized Skating:

A world championships for synchronized figure skating was added in 2000. The Synchronized World Figure Skating Championshps is a separate competition from the competition that includes singles, pairs, and ice dancing.

Other International Ice Skating Competitions:

The International Skating Union holds other figure skating events. Those competitions are the World Junior Figure Skating Championships, the Four Continents Championships, and the European Figure Skating Championships. The Olympics and the Grand Prix of Figure Skating are also international competitions, but are not sponsored by the International Skating Union.

When and Where is Worlds?:

Usually the World Figure Skating Championships take place in March. Each year, a different country hosts the World Figure Skating Championships.

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