Axel: skater takes off from an inside edge while skating forward, does one or more complete mid-air turns, and lands on the back outside edge of the other skate.
Toe Loop: skater takes off from a back outside edge, picks the toe of the other skate into the ice, does one or more complete mid-air turns and lands on the back outside edge of the takeoff skate.
Salchow: skater does one or more complete mid-air turns from a back inside edge of one skate to the back outside edge of the other skate.
Lutz: skater moving backwards on an outside edge, picks in the toe of the opposite skate to assist the lift, does one or more complete mid-air turns in a counter-rotational direction.
Spin: skater revolves rapidly on his/her own axis, in one spot on one foot.
Camel: skater revolves in the "airplane" position.
Spiral: skater on an edge skated with the free leg extended and held higher than hip level.
Death Spiral: the man skater spins in a pivot position on one edge of the skate while holding one hand of a lady skater with her body parallel to the ice.
(More about jumps & spins)
One of the favorite sporting events at the Winter Olympics is figure skating. When skaters glide across the ice, it’s almost like watching a ballet. Whether skating as an individual, or as pairs, judges look for grace, clean movement and balance on takeoffs.
There are four Olympic Figure Skating events: ladies singles, men's singles, pairs, and ice dancing.
The singles event consists of two sections: the short program and long program. The short program is a piece of choreographed skating set to music. There are prescribed elements such as jump combinations and spins that are required.
The long program is the most demanding part of the singles competition that requires stamina and concentration. The program is designed to best display the skaters technical and artistic skills with difficult jumps, spins and interpretive moves.
Skaters perform in unison in the pairs event. It also consists of a short program and long program. The couple works as one unit, demonstrating daring overhead lifts, throw-jumps and other maneuvers. You will see "shadow skating," in which the couple skates in unison without touching each other, as well as "mirror skating," in which each skates identical moves in different directions, giving the illusion of a mirror. The performance requires harmony, strength and grace.
The short program has required moves including the crowd pleaser ‘Death Spiral’ spin. In the long partners may separate from time to time and are not required to do identical moves.
Ice dancing is similar to ballroom dancing. It consists of three sections: compulsory, original, and freestyle. In the compulsory section judges are looking for timing, accuracy, rhythm and style.
The original section is both part compulsory and part freestyle. Ice dancers use their own choreography but the music must conform to the set, rhythm and tempo.
In the freestyle section dancers can use any music and there are no mandatory moves. Many of the lifts, jumps and spins valued in pairs are limited and can cost dancers fractions of a point for any little mishap.
Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff