Friday, April 29, 2011


The dream
Perhaps there is no one anymore who has not been amazed by what he experiences while watching a figure skating championship on television. Especially when this championship consists of skaters from all over the world!

The athletes are gliding, dancing, flying one could say on the ice, and along with them the audience which is dreaming, enjoying, wondering about the magical capabilities of the human body which is expressed with such harmony, grace, tenderness and strength at the same time, and also with passion according to the music and the choreography.
 The spectacle reaches the dream. The applause, as big as it can be, it is not enough. The athlete is awarded for a painful and long-standing effort. An effort that the judges will judge strictly, while viewers will remain enchanted. And while the efforts are intensified, the sport progresses and becomes even more spectacular, more sensational, reaching high standards of art!
Dancing on the ice requires, among other skills, deep knowledge of the art of dance in all its glory. Excellent knowledge of classical ballet, knowledge of music, dancing-motion-light and, together with all these, tenderness and grace, love and true passion for a sport which is perhaps unique among all the sport disciplines. A sport which offers on the one hand the athletic and dynamic performances, but on the other hand an incomparable form of art, which is the art of dancing - dancing on the ice!
Once upon a time, many many years ago in northern Europe, during the heavy winters, some people began to take their first steps on the ice, something that looked like ice skating. They found hard shiny animal bones, mostly deer bones, they scraped and sharpened them and then they tied them with leather straps on their feet. Then, by using various sticks or canes, they pushed their bodies forward and tried to glide on the ice. 
Apparently, they succeeded quite well because this way they managed to cross great distances, even on frozen lakes, very quickly. We can therefore say that the sport of ice skating was born as a way of commuting and transferring from place to place, using the ice skates as “means” for these transfers.
Ice skating has its own protector, Saint Lidwina, who was born in 1380. A skating accident deprived her from the pleasure of ice skating. Hence, she dedicated herself to others and it is being said that she made miracles happen during her lifetime. She died in 1433. For the first time in 1890, she was honored as a saint and in 1944 she was formally established as the protector of the sport.
The evolution
Years went by and ice skating was constantly evolving and further developing. After the use of bones, people used carved wood with silver ornaments in order to make ice skates. After some time, people decided to use metal - especially iron - for the creation of the blade and finally the ice skates were mainly made out of leather and steel as they are still made today. The first ice skating club dates from 1742 in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the first tutorial titled “Treatise on Skating” was published in 1772 by Robert Jones.
Skating fun' by 17th century Dutch painter Hendrick Avercamp.
In 1876 the British W.A. Parker was the first to manufacture artificial ice and, since then, ice skating could be possible anywhere, anytime, anyplace.
Central Park, New York City, Winter: The Skating Pond, 1862.


Jumps can be rotated in clockwise or counterclockwise direction. Most skaters are counterclockwise jumpers. For clarity, all jumps will be described for a skater jumping counter-clockwise.
There are six jumps in figure skating that count as jump elements. All six are landed on one foot on the right back outside edge (with counterclockwise rotation, for single and multi-revolution jumps), but have different takeoffs, by which they may be distinguished. The two categories of jumps are toe jumps and edge jumps.

[edit]Toe jumps

Toe jumps are launched by tapping the toe pick of one skate into the ice, and include (in order of difficulty from easiest to hardest):
  1. Toe loops take off from the back outside edge of the left or right foot and are launched by the opposite toe pick (toe walleys are similar, but take off from the back inside edge of the right foot);

  1. Flips, which take off from the back inside edge of the right or left foot and are launched by the opposite toe pick;
  2. Lutzes, which take off from the back outside edge of the right or left foot and are launched by the opposite toe pick.

[edit]Edge jumps

Edge jumps use no toe assist, and include:
  1. Salchows, which take off from either the left or right back inside edge. Allowing the edge to come round, the opposite leg helps launch the jump into the air and land on one foot;
  1. Loops (also known as Rittberger jumps) take off from either the left or right back outside edge and land on the same edge;
  2. Axels, which are the only rotating jump to take off from a forward edge. Because they take off from a forward edge, they include one-half extra rotations and are considered the hardest jump of the six. The axel jump will take a skater the longest to learn. The jump harness is a good thing to use before attempting the axel jump on the ice.

[edit]Rotations and combinations 

The number of rotations performed in the air for each jump determines whether the jump is a single, double, triple, or quadruple (known commonly as a "quad"). Senior-level male single skaters perform mostly triple and quadruple jumps in competition. Triple jumps other than the Axel are commonly performed by female single skaters. Only one female skater, Miki Ando, has been credited with a quadruple jump in international competition.

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