Ice skating is skating on ice as a sport, entertainment or pastime. Ice skates, a special type of boot with metal blades on the bottom, are worn to skate on ice. Figure skating and speed skating are the sport forms of ice skating. Hockey is also played on ice, with players wearing ice skates. The International Skating Union (ISU) is the international governing body for figure skating and speed skating.
Ice skating probably began in Scandinavia as early as 1000 BCE, as a way to travel in the winter. The sport of skating started in the Netherlands. Since the Middle Ages, people in the Netherlands have skated on canals. The first skating club was created in Scotland in 1742. In 1850, Edward Bushnell created steel-bladed skates which allowed skaters to make difficult turns and movements on the ice. Figure skating was included in the Olympics in 1908. It was the first winter sport included in the Olympics. Today, ice skating is a popular pastime. Ice shows, like Ice Follies and Ice Capades, are a popular form of entertainment.
Modern figure skates have two edges on the blades and a toothed toepick on the front of the blade. The toepick is used for jumps and spins. Figure skating boots are made of leather. Ice hockey skates also have two edges, but no toepick. Speedskating ice skates have a single edge on the blade.
Men's singles, women's singles, pairs and ice dance are the four types of competitive figure skating. In singles competitions, skaters perform a short technical routine and a longer, creative free routine. The skaters are judged on their performance of jumps, spins and spirals, as well as their artistry. In pairs competitions, two skaters perform two original routines together and are judged on their skills, artistry, and synchronization. In ice dancing, two skaters perform two compulsory routines and an original routine together.
Speed skating is racing on ice. Skaters are judged on their speed. Speed skating has been an Olympic sport since 1924.
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- "Speed skating - Winter Olympic Sport". International Olympic Committee. 15 June 2018.