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Everything You May Want to Know About Olympic Figure Skating

All About Figure Skating at the Winter Olympic Games


Figure Skating at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games

Meryl Davis & Charlie White - Skate America 2011 Ice Dance Champions
Photo by Stephen Dunn - Getty Images

How Ice Skating Competitions Are Judged

Figure Skating Judges
Photo by Graham Chadwick - Getty Images

A new kind of scoring replaced the old 6.0 figure skating judging system and was created in response to the 2002 Olympic figure skating scandal. The idea was to attempt to make figure skating competitions more objective and fair.

Competitors are given two scores: a technical score and a program component score. The technical score is added together to the program component score and the result is the segment score. The sum of all the segment scores (the short program and the free skate) becomes the total competition score. The skater with the highest score wins.

    Olympic Figure Skating Events

    Scott Hamilton - 1984 Olympic Figure Skating Champion
    Photo bu Steve Powell - Getty Images

    Five different figure skating events took place at the 2014 Winter Olympics: Ladies singles, men's singles, pair skating, ice dancing, and the team figure skating event were the events that took place in Sochi.

    Recognize Olympic Figure Skating Jumps

    2008 World Figure Skating Champion Mao Asada Is One of the Few Women Who Can Land a Triple Axel Jump
    Photo by Patrick Kovarik - Getty Images

    Certain jumps are done by Olympic figure skaters...read more

    Basic Ice Skating Spins

    Ryan Jahnke does an above average spin position with speed and centering
    Photo by Matthew Stockman - Getty Images

    Many of the spins Olympic figure skaters do are variations of basic ice skating spins.

    Identify Olympic Pair Skating Lifts

    Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett
    Photo by Matthew Stockman - Getty Images

    Lifts are the highlight of Olympic pair skating.   Good lifts have a smooth take off, elegant positions, and gentle landings.

    Understanding the Steps, Turns, and Footwork That Olympic Figure Skaters Perform

    All Olympic Figure Skaters Do Footwork and Steps
    Photo by Matthew Stockman - Getty Images

    Every step or turn a figure skater does has a name. Can you identify the figure skating turns that are done on one foot? Next time you watch an elite ice skater do a step sequence, try to recognize at least one three turn, one bracket, one counter, and one rocker.

    Phases of Olympic Figure Skating Events

    Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto won a silver medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics.
    Photo by Jonathan Ferrey - Getty Images

    At the Olympic Games, at least two different phases of a competition take place. This means that Olympic figure skaters do more than one performance before a champion is crowned. The winner of the first phase of an Olympic event may win an Olympic title, but there is a chance that someone else can "pull up" and become the Olympic Figure Skating Champion. In the final phase of Olympic figure skating competition, the skaters who place in the top four after the initial phase, compete last, so the last part of an Olympic figure skating event is the most exciting to watch!

    Memories From the 2010 Olympic Figure Skating Competition in Vancouver

    Kim Yu-Na Celebrates Her Olympic Victory
    Photo by Cameron Spencer - Getty Images

    The 2010 Winter Olympic Games took place in Vancouver, Canada.  The figure skating events began on February 14, 2010 and ended on February 27, 2010.  New Olympic figure skating champions were crowned and controversy took place. 

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