Ice skating is the self-propulsion of a person across a sheet of ice, using metal-bladed ice skates to glide on the ice surface. This activity can be carried out for various reasons, including recreation, sport, exercise, and travel. Ice skating may be performed on specially prepared ice surfaces (arenas, tracks, parks), both indoors and outdoors, as well as on naturally occurring bodies of frozen water, such as ponds, lakes and rivers.
Research suggests that the earliest ice skating happened in southern Finland more than 4,000 years ago. This was done to save energy during winter journeys. Originally, skates were merely sharpened, flattened bone strapped to the bottom of the foot. Skaters did not actually skate on the ice but rather glided on top of it.
True skating emerged when a steel blade with sharpened edges was used. Skates now cut into the ice instead of gliding on top of it. Adding edges to ice skates was invented by the Dutch in the 13th or 14th century. These ice skates were made of steel, with sharpened edges on the bottom to aid movement.
The fundamental construction of modern ice skates has stayed largely the same since then, although differing greatly in the details, particularly in the method of binding and the shape and construction of the steel blades. In the Netherlands, ice skating was considered proper for all classes of people, as shown in many pictures by the Old Masters.
Ice skating was also practiced in China during the Song dynasty and became popular among the ruling family of the Qing dynasty.
- Athletes in Figure Skating must keep their performances varied. The Zayak Rule states that no participant can attempt triple or quadruple jumps on more than two occasions.
- Judges may also mark down participants or disqualify them completely if they fail to adhere to rules and regulations for music and costumes. Certain types of music are not permitted, and costumes cannot contain “excessive decoration” or be considered as too revealing.
- Athletes can also be disqualified for time violations.
Ice Skaters are specially designed skating shoes with thick steel blades at the base and jagged grooves at the front known as “toe picks” – which assist athletes with their footwork on the ice, as well as landing and spinning. The specific style of toe picks can vary.
The main blades are ordinarily around 4 millimeters thick, although they can vary depending on the shoe size of the athlete. They also curve round to one side in order to assist with turns on the ice.
Athletes will always attempt to skate on the very edges of the Ice skate blades.
For ice dancing, athletes usually have slightly shorter blades on the base of their shoes, with slightly different design to accommodate step-work rather than jumping.
- Ice Skating Association of India.
- Indian Olympic Association.