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How to Recognize Olympic Figure Skating Jumps

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This list will help spectators recognize the jumps done by Olympic figure skaters.

1. Triple Axel Jump

Triple axel jump
Ryan McVay/Allsport Concepts/Getty Images
The triple Axel is the only triple figure skating jump that takes off from a forward outside edge. It is the most difficult of all the triple jumps, and is rewarded the most points when it is completed successfully. Several men are able to do triple Axels, but only a few ladies can perform triple Axels consistently.

 

The skater first bends the skating knee as he or she enters the jump from a forward outside edge, then kicks forward with the free leg and arms and springs into the air. Three and a half revolutions are completed in the air. Like all the jumps seen at Olympic figure skating competitions, the jump is landed on a back outside edge.

2. Triple Lutz Jump

1988 Olympic Figure Skating Champion Brian Boitano Was Famous for His Consistent Triple Lutz Jump
Photo by Mike Powell - Getty Images
The triple Lutz jump is the second most difficult of the triple jumps done at Olympic figure skating events. Many skaters set up the triple Lutz jump by first doing a series of powerful back crossovers into a corner of the arena. The skater then glides backward on a back outside edge, and then picks with the other skate. The skater jumps three full revolutions in the air and then lands on the back outside edge of the foot that picked.

 

A triple Lutz must be taken off from a back outside edge, and staying on that back outside edge can be very difficult. If a skater allows the blade to change to an inside edge, the jump does not receive full credit.

3. Triple Flip Jump

A triple flip jump is similar to the triple Lutz jump except that the skater first glides backward on a back inside edge as he or she enters the jump, picks with the other skate, jumps three full revolutions in the air, and lands on the back outside edge of the foot that picked. A triple flip does not receive as much credit as a triple Lutz. Much of the time, a skater will enter a triple flip jump by first doing a mohawk or three turn.

4. Triple Loop Jump

In a triple loop jump, the skater takes off from a back outside edge, jumps three full revolutions in the air, and lands backward on the same back outside edge from which he or she took off of. The triple loop is almost as difficult as a triple flip jump, but not quite as difficult.

5. Triple Toe Loop

A triple toe loop jump is done with a toe assist like the triple flip jump. The skater skates backward on an outside edge, and picks with the other toe, then jumps three revolutions in the air.

Much of the time, the skater will first enter the jump from either a forward inside three turn or do a forward outside three turn and then quickly change feet to a back outside edge just before picking. Like all the triple jumps performed in Olympic figure skating, the landing is on the back outside edge.

The triple toe loop's take off is from a back outside edge, not a back inside edge like the triple flip. Toe loops are easier than flips, so the jump receives less points.

6. Triple Salchow

A triple Salchow's take off is from the back inside edge of one foot and the landing is done on the back outside edge of the other foot. Three revolutions are done in the air.

The triple Salchow is usually done from a forward outside three turn. After the three turn, the skater stops momentarily with the free foot extended behind, then swings the free leg forward and around with a wide scooping motion. Then, the skater jumps in the air and lands backwards on the foot and leg that did the scooping motion. Sometimes, the salchow is entered from a forward inside mohawk instead of a three turn.

7. Jump Combinations

Figure skating jump combinations are two or more jumps in a row. An example of a jump combination is a triple Lutz, triple loop, double toe loop. No turns, connecting steps, or foot changes are permitted in jump combinations.

8. Quadruple Jumps

2006 Olympic Figure Skating Champion Evgeni Plushenko Can Do Quadruple Jumps
Photo by Clive Rose - Getty Images
Some Olympic figure skaters, such as 2006 Men's Olympic Figure Skating Champion Evgeni Plushenko can land quadruple jumps followed by triple jumps and double jumps. Quads are done with the same technique as triple jumps, but an additional revolution is completed.

9. Double Axel Jump

Olympic figure skaters are required to do double Axel jumps. The double Axel is done just like a triple Axel since the take off from a forward outside edge. The skater first bends the skating knee as he or she enters the jump from that forward outside edge, then kicks forward with the free leg and arms and springs into the air. Two and a half revolutions are completed in the air. Like all the jumps seen in Olympic figure skating competitions, the jump is landed on a back outside edge.

10. Others Double Jumps

Double jumps are done with the same technique as triple jumps, but one less revolution is completed. At the elite Olympic figure skating level, double figure skating jumps are usually seen in jump combinations.

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