What is figure skating?
A: Figure skating is a sport in which individuals, pairs, or groups perform on figure skates on ice.
It was the first winter sport to be included in what?
A: The Olympic Games, when contested at the 1908 Olympics in London.
What are the Olympic disciplines?
A: Men's singles, women's singles, pair skating, and ice dance.
The four individual disciplines are also combined into
A: A team event, first included in the Winter Olympics in 2014.
The non-Olympic disciplines include what?
A: Synchronized skating, Theater on Ice, and four skating.
From intermediate through senior-level competition,
skaters generally perform what?
A: Two programs (the short program and the free skate), which, depending on the discipline, may include spins, jumps, moves in the field, lifts, throw jumps, death spirals, and other elements or moves.
Figure skaters compete at various levels from beginner
up to what?
A: The Olympic level (senior) at local, regional, sectional, national, and international competitions.
The International Skating Union (ISU) regulates what?
A: International figure skating judging and competitions.
Major competitions generally conclude with what?
A: Exhibition galas, in which the top skaters from each discipline perform non-competitive programs.
Many skaters, both during and after their competitive
careers, also skate in what?
A: Ice shows, which run during the competitive season and the off-season.
The term "professional" in skating refers not to skill
level but what?
A: Competitive status.
Figure skaters competing at the highest levels of
international competition are not what?
A: "Professional" skaters.
They are sometimes referred to as what?
A: Amateurs, though some earn money.
Professional skaters include those who have lost their
ISU eligibility and those do what?
A: Those who perform only in shows.
They may also include former Olympic and World
champions who have ended their competitive career, as well as skaters with
A: Little or no international competitive experience.
In addition to performing in ice shows, professional
skaters often compete in what?
A: Professional competitions, which are held throughout the world, each with its own format and rules.
When viewed from the side, the blade of a figure skate
is not flat, but what?
A: Curved slightly, forming an arc of a circle with a radius of 180–220 centimetres (71–87 inches).
This curvature is referred to as what?
A: The rocker of the blade.
What is the "sweet spot"?
A: It’s the part of the blade on which all spins are rotated; this is usually located near the stanchion of the blade, below the ball of the foot.
The blade is also "hollow ground"; a groove on the
bottom of the blade creates what?
A: Two distinct edges, inside and outside.
In figure skating, it is always desirable to skate on
only one what?
A: One edge of the blade.
Skating on both at the same time (which is referred to
as a flat) may result in what?
A: Lower skating skills scores.
The apparently effortless power and glide across the
ice exhibited by elite figure skaters fundamentally derives from what?
A: Efficient use of the edges to generate speed.
Skates used in singles and pair skating have a set of
large, jagged teeth called a what on the front of each blade?
A: A "Toe pick".
The toe picks are mainly used to help launch the skater
into the air for the take-off when performing what?