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Figure Skating History

Learn about the history of figure skating in the United States and around the world. Learn about skaters from the past and learn about how certain jumps, spins, and other figure skating moves were named.
  1. Memories (63)
  2. Former Ice Arenas (2)
  3. Figure Skating Videos (169)
  4. Historical Skating Events (12)
  5. Ice Show Skating Stars (11)

A Step By Step Journey Through Ice Skating History
Ice skating has gone through many changes over the years. Take a step by step tour through figure skating history.

Olympic Pair Skating Champions
Meet the pair skaters who won figure skating gold at the Olympic Winter Games.

Sapporo, Japan 1972 Winter Olympics - Figure Skating Video Highlights
This video shows the performances of Beatrix "Trixi" Schuba, Janet Lynn, and Karen Magnussen in 1972 at the Olympics which took place in Sapporo, Japan. Clips of other skaters are briefly shown.

Meet the 2014 Japanese Olympic Figure Skating Team
The figure skaters who qualified for the 2014 Japanese Olympic figure skating team were chosen shortly after the All Japan Figure Skating Championships on December 23, 2013.

Karen Magnussen - Canadian and World Figure Skating Champion
Karen Magnussen won silver at the 1972 Winter Olympics and went on to win the 1973 world figure skating title.

Review of "The Price of Gold" - The Tonya and Nancy Saga
It is a known fact that the 1994 Tonya-Nancy figure skating scandal increased the popularity of figure skating, and "The Price of Gold" documentary might again help to increase figure skating's popularity.

The History of Figure Skating
Just before the 2010 Winter Olympics, a sixth grade student, named Lauren, contacted Jo Ann Schneider Farris, About.com's Guide to Figure Skating. Lauren was doing a research project at school and had some excellent questions about the history of figure skating. The answers to her questions are included in this article.

All About Russian Figure Skating
Russian figure skaters have dominated the ice skating world since the mid-1960s.

Men Olympic Figure Skating Gold Medalists
Meet the men who won figure skating gold at the Olympic Winter Games.

Remembering the Days of Compulsory Figures
Years ago, beautiful designs were skated on clean ice in the shape of a figure eight. These complex designs were called figures and that is why Figure Skating is called FIGURE Skating. All figure skaters practiced figures for hours each day before doing jumps and spins.

About the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club
The Los Angeles Figure Skating Club has a rich history. The club has also been the home of many, many figure skating champions and medalists.

Broadmoor Skating Club's Olympic, World, and Senior National Champions
The Broadmoor Skating Club, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, has a rich history. The club was and is the home of many Olympic, world, and US figure skating champions.

Figure Skating Went On While the Waldo Canyon Fire Burned In Colorado Springs
Fortunately, most of the ice skaters training at the Colorado Springs World Arena Ice Hall and at the other ice arenas in Colorado Springs live around or near the Cheyenne Mountain area which is at the south end of Colorado Springs and not in the area that the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire affected.

Cammie and Alex's Adventures in Skating History - A Book by Olga Jaffae
Cammie and Alex's Adventures in Skating History is the third in a series of children's ice skating books by Olga Jaffae. In this book, readers learn about the history of ice skating through Cammie and Alex's fantasy adventure.

Figure Skating Events and Memories From the First Decade of the 21st Century
2009 ends the first decade of the 21st century. What are your memories of best and the worst events in figure skating during those ten years?

Jackson Haines - The Founder of Modern Figure Skating
The founder of the figure skating of today is Jackson Haines, an American ballet dancer and figure skater. Haines was the first skater to incorporate ballet and dance movements into ice skating. His style of stating included athletic jumps, leaps, turns, and spins.

Tonya and Nancy - The Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan Figure…
Do you believe that Tonya Harding planned to hurt Nancy Kerrigan?

The Tonya and Nancy Figure Skating Scandal
Just before the 1994 Olympics, it was alleged that Tonya Harding might have been part of the conspiracy to hurt Nancy Kerrigan. The "Kerrigan Attack" increased the popularity of figure skating.

Photos of Zamboni Ice Resurfacing Machines
A Zamboni is an ice resurfacing machine used to clean the ice surface at ice skating rinks. The term "Zamboni" is used as a generic term. There are other brands of ice resurfacing machines, but the Zamboni may be the most popular. This photo gallery includes photos of some Zamboni ice resurfacers in action.

2008 Figure Skating Events and Highlights - Ice Skating Memories 2008
This article highlights some of the top figure skating memories from 2008.

Remembering and Reflecting After the 2009 AT&T US Figure Skating Championships
In the past, the United States National Figure Skating Championships that is held just before an Olympic year, helps to give those involved in figure skating some idea about who may be competing in the Olympics, but instead, in 2009, the competition left everyone wondering what will happen in 2010.

2009 AT&T US Figure Skating Championships Photo Gallery
This photo gallery includes photos from the 2009 AT&T US Figure Skating Championships that took place in Cleveland, Ohio from Jan. 18, 2009 through Jan. 25, 2009 at Quicken Loans Arena.

Photos From the World Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame
The World Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame is a museum that showcases figure skating and its history. It is the only museum of its kind in the world.

World Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame
The World Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame is a museum that showcases figure skating and its history.

Lake Placid Olympic Museum Photos
In July of 2008, About.com's Figure Skating Guide, Jo Ann Schneider Farris, visited the Olympic Museum in Lake Placid, New York. These are some of the photos she took from her visit.

Danny Ryan - US Ice Dance Champion and World Figure Skating Bronze Medalist
Daniel "Danny" Ryan, was the 1953 U.S. National ice dance champion. He also won the bronze medal in ice dancing at the World Figure Skating Championships in 1952 and 1953. His ice dancing partner was Carol Ann Peters. Ryan was one of the U.S. figure skating coaches who died in the 1961 plane crash where the entire U.S. figure skating team perished on their way to the World Figure Skating Championships.

Photos From the 1976 U.S. National Figure Skating Championships
At the 1976 U.S. National Figure Skating Championships, amateur photographer, LeRoy Miltner, took some photos as the skaters that qualified for the Olympics were introduced to the audience. The photos were misplaced until Thanksgiving of 2007. Mr. Miltner found the photos and is excited to now share them with About.com's readers.

Historical Figure Skating Photos From Sonia Bianchetti Garbato
Sonia Bianchetti Garbato was a top figure skating official with the International Skating Union (ISU). She began her career with the ISU in 1963 and served until 1992. The photos in this collection show her with some very famous people in figure skating. Included are some great moments in ice skating history and some personal photos of Sonia Bianchetti Garbato.

US World Figure Skating Team 2009
After competing at the 2009 AT&T US Figure Skating Championships, the best figure skaters in the United States earned spots on the US Figure Skating World Team.

Ice Skating Memories 2008
This article highlights some of the top figure skating memories from 2008.

Ice Skating Memories 2007
This article highlights some ice skating events that happened in 2007.

Ice Skating Memories 2006
2006 was a big year in figure skating history since it was an Olympic year. This article highlights some of the important ice skating memories that happened in 2006.

What Were Special Figures?
Special figures were a part of figure skating in the late 19th Century and in the early 20th Century. Very complicated and elaborate patterns invented by the skater were drawn on the ice with the skater's blades.

Why is Figure Skating Called "Figure Skating?"
This short article explains how figure skating got its name.

Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center
Over a quarter million people skate at Rockefeller Center's ice rink each year. It is considered part of the "New York City experience."

Tiffany Vise and Derek Trent Landed the First Quad Throw Salchow
On November 17, 2007, U.S. pair skaters, Tiffany Vise and Derek Trent landed the first quadruple throw salchow at a figure skating competition.

What Was a Patch Practice Session Like When Ice Skaters Practiced Figures?
Figure skating got its name because beautiful designs were skated on clean ice in the shape of a figure eight. These complex designs were called figures and that is why Figure Skating is called FIGURE Skating. In this article, the reader will learn what a figure practice session (patch session) was like.

"Figure" Skating - Origin of Name by John Cawly Ph. D.
This short article is written by John Cawly Ph. D. of McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois. He has done some research and has found out some interesting facts about the origin of the name "Figure" skating.

Figure Skating Romances and Marriages
Figure skating seems to be a great place for romance. Several skaters have met at the rink and have had romances. This is a list of just some skating related romances and marriages.

How Did the Name of the "Kiss and Cry" Figure Skating Area Come About?
After a performance at a figure skating competition, the "Kiss and Cry" area is the place where the competitors and their coaches wait for the scores to be announced and posted. There is some history surrounding how the name "Kiss and Cry" came about. This short article tells that story.

Mr. Frick - Legendary Ice Skating Show Comedian
For years, Werner Groebli, known as "Mr. Frick," delighted figure skating fans all over the world. He is considered one of the most famous ice skating show comedians in history.

Santa Claus Ice Skating
Santa Claus has been seen ice skating in various places all over the world. This photo gallery shows Santa on ice skates in just a few of those places.

The Zamboni's Rink - Iceland in Paramount
Iceland in Paramount was founded in 1939. It is owned by the famous Zamboni family. Frank Zamboni invented the Zamboni ice resurfacing machinge.

Review of "Skating Through Time" - Figure Skating DVD or Video Set
The best figure skating performances from the United States National Figure Skating championships are put together in "Skating Through Time," a three-volume series available on DVD or video.

Review of "Frozen in Time" - A Book by Nikki Nichols
"Frozen in Time - The Enduring Legacy of the 1961 U.S. Figure Skating Team" tells the story of the entire 1961 U.S. Figure Skating team that was killed in a tragic plane crash in Brussels, Belgium on February 15, 1961.

Figure Skaters and Hollywood Professional School
Hollywood Professional School was a school in southern California where many figure skaters attended. The figure skaters that attended Hollywood Professonal School (HPS) devoted their time to developing their skating talent. Hollywood Professional School is part of the history of figure skating in the United States.

Review of the 1975 World Figure Skating Championships by Jo Ann Schneider
This article was published on March 14, 1975 in the Colorado College Catalyst. It is written by About.com's Figure Skating Guide, Jo Ann Schneider Farris. She attended Colorado College at the time, and was asked by the editor of the college's newspaper to review the event since the 1975 World Figure Skating Championship took place in Colorado...

1975 World Champion and 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Dianne DeLeeuw
Dianne DeLeeuw won the World Figure Skating Championships in 1975 and was the Olympic Silver Medalist in 1976.

Why is the Ice Skating Turn "Mohawk" Named After an American Indian Tribe?
Where did the name "Mohawk" come from? Why is a mohawk, which is an ice skating turn, named after an American Indian tribe?

78 rpm Records Were Once Used at Figure Skating Competitions
Before there were CDs, iPods, or cassette tapes, figure skaters had special custom 78 rpm records made of their figure skating program music.

Ulrich Salchow - The Inventor of the Salchow Jump and Olympic Champion
Ulrich Salchow invented a figure skating jump which is called the salchow. He was a Swedish ice skater and world and Olympic figure skating champion. Ulrich Salchow was a very important person in the sport of figure skating in the early part of the 20th Century.

History of Ice Skates
Mary Bellis, Guide to Inventors, explains how the invention of the ice skate blade came about.

History of the Zamboni
About.com's Guide to Inventors, Mary Bellis, has put together information on the Zamboni ice resurfacing machine.

History of Inventions That Have to Do With Ice
Mary Bellis, About.com's Guide to Inventors, shares information on inventions that have to do with ice.

History of the Ice Skating Institute
Ice Skating Institute, ISI, is the ice skating association that covers the needs of ice arena owners and operators, ice skating coaches, and recreational ice skaters, and ice hockey players. This short article tells a bit about the early days of the organization.

Roller Skaters Who Switched to Ice Skating
This is a list of skaters who made the switch from roller skating to ice.

1961 U.S. World Figure Skating Team
On February 15, 1961, a tragic plane crash killed all the members of the U.S. Figure Skating Team. Also, friends, family, judges, officials, and coaches were killed. The skaters were traveling to the World Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia. This website, by Patty Shelley Bushman, includes profiles and information about the people who were on that plane.

U.S. Figure Skating History
This is a short history of skating in the United States directly from U.S. Figure Skating's site.

Skateweb's History of Figure Skating Links
This is an excellent resource on figure skating history. It includes many links to figure skating and its past.

The Art of Skating - by Irving Brokaw
Time Magazine called The Art of Skating "the figure skater's bible." The book's author, Irving Brokaw, traced the history and development of figure skating from its beginnings to the book's original publication in 1910. This link takes the reader to a complete online version of the book.

Figure Skating History for Kids
This is a link that explains figure skating history in a way children can understand.

Olympic Figure Skating History
This link includes links to many different sites that discuss Olympic figure skating history.

Historical Skating Books and Photos
This is from Sandra Loosemore's Skateweb site.

World Figure Skating Museum by Connie Emerson
The World Figure Skating Museum showcases figure skating and its history. This article is written for travelers who visit Colorado and gives readers a glimpse inside the museum.

World Figure Skating Museum
Located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the World Figure Skating Museum contains a huge collection of skating related materials.

Virtual Ice Skates Museum
This is a virtual museum that explains in detail the evolution of ice skates.

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