Figure skating


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.

Figure skating today : the next wave of stars
Steve Milton ; photographs by Gérard Châtaigneau.
Richmond Hill, Ont. : Firefly Books, 2007
A fan's book on international skating stars -- today's best and tomorrow's brightestFigure skating has burst back onto the international sports scene, following a series of unfortunate judging controversies. There is a fresh crop of skaters who are jumping higher, skating faster and pushing artistic and technical boundaries like never before. The figure skating revolution includes new rules plus new countries in competition, and sees women once again landing the triple axel. The budding rivalries in both the men's and women's competitions have rejuvenated this riveting sport that commands prime time television for months.Figure Skating Today showcases the skaters during the events of the 2006-07 season, including the Grand Prix Finals, the Europeans and the Four Continents, and the 2007 World Championships in Tokyo.An exciting look at the current crop of today's top international champs and those on the road to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Figure Skating Today covers such international stars as: Kimmie Meissner Mao Asada Jeffrey Buttle St_phane Lambiel Jessica Dub_ and Bryce Davison.With its action photos, behind-the-scenes stories and fascinating statistics, Figure Skating Today is a book for every skating fan.
Figure skating : a history
James R. Hines.
Urbana : University of Illinois Press ; Colorado Springs : World Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame, c2006.
Figure skating, unique in its sublimely beautiful combination of technical precision, musicality, and interpretive elements, has undergone many dramatic developments since the only previous history of the sport was published in 1959. This exciting and information-packed new history by James R. Hines explains skating's many technical and artistic advances, its important figures, its intrigues and scandals, and the historical high points during its long evolution.
Only with passion : figure skating's most winning champion on competition and life
Katarina Witt with E.M. Swift.
New York : Public Affairs, c2005.
Figure skating now : Olympic and world stars
Gérard Chataigneau & Steve Milton.
Toronto : Firefly Books, 2003.
Today's most exciting figure skaters are spotlighted in this richly illustrated book, updated to include the 2003 Worlds competition. Photos.

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