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All About Ice Skating

October 10, 2016

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Ice skating is one of the best ways to have a good time during the winter. Whether you skate as a sport or just for fun, it's a great way to get your body moving when it's cold outside. It's also a wonderful activity to enjoy with your family or friends! Time to learn a little something about ice skating! 

Skating a fun thing to do in the winter!Skating a fun thing to do in the winter!Courtesy of sunflowervacation.com

History

  • It's thought that ice skating dates back to more than 3000 years ago, when people in Finland strapped blades of flattened bone to the bottoms of their feet. Back then, skaters glided on the ice. 
  • Modern ice skating emerged in the 13th or 14th century, when the Dutch began to make their skates out of steel, with sharpened edges on the bottom. to improve control. These blades cut in to the ice, thus allowing for a much wider range of movement. 
  • Ice skating was introduced to the United Kingdom in the 17th century; the first ever skating club was in 1740 in Edinburgh. 
  • For a long time, skating was considered to be a leisure activity for the nobility and the wealthy. 

The first Finnish ice skates may have looked something like this. The first Finnish ice skates may have looked something like this. Courtesy of NBC News

Sporty Skating

  • By the 19th century, ice skating had become popular as a form of sport. People from all walks of life engaged in skating races. 
  • Skating races were often held in local districts, after which the winners of various areas would gather to compete tournament-style. 
  • In 1879, the first national skating association was formed in England. 
  • An American man, Jackson Haines, was the first to incorporate ballet and dance movements into skating, and thus is considered the founder of figure skating
  • The first international skating championship, led by the International Skating Union, was held in 1896 in St. Petersburg, Russia. 

In cold countries, skating outdoors on a frozen pond or lake is very popular.In cold countries, skating outdoors on a frozen pond or lake is very popular.Courtesy of Reuters

Ice Skating Fun Facts

  • Some ice skating sports include ice dancing, speed skating, curling, and ice hockey. 
  • Figure skaters are not allowed to use music with vocals during their routines, at least when they're performing at the Olympics. 
  • Since the Olympic games began, the United States have won the most figure skating medals: 15 gold medals and 48 medals total. 
  • The youngest male figure skater to ever win the gold medal was Scott Allen, who won gold in 1964 at age 14. 
  • Modern ice skates haven't changed that much since the 14th century! 

Michelle Kwan is one of the most famous figure skaters ever!Michelle Kwan is one of the most famous figure skaters ever!Courtesy of tensportsclub.com

There you have it! Ice skating is more than just fun and games; there's a whole history behind both the sport and the leisure activity. We encourage you to go out and have fun skating, but make sure you're being safe! If you're playing hockey or a rough sport, you might want to consider wearing a helmet to protect your head...and make sure you bundle up! 

Have Your Say! 

Do you like ice skating? Share your experiences in the comments section!

 

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