University of Oxford

Ice Skating – For Pleasure and Sport

The world of Ice Skating saw seven-year-old Sophie Kemp glide her way to stardom at the Planet Ice Skating Stars competition in the UK recently, one of the youngest participants to do so. Despite the fact that Sophie had only begun skating since April this year, her dogged determination saw her complete a three-jump and a spiral, two of the most difficult ice skating techniques, on her way to the top of the group that was open to ages 6-16. Her mother, Kate Kemp is proud of her daughter’s achievement, having been a former club skater herself, and overjoyed that Sophie is making lots of lovely new friends.

Ice skating and figure skating took the world by storm in the 1970s, 80s and 90s when many skaters, men and women, displayed intricate movements and graceful techniques of skating on ice. One name that shot to skating brilliance during that time is Tara Lipinski, who became the youngest ladies’ figure skater and the youngest athlete in any sporting discipline to win a gold medal. With titles of US National Champion and World Champion much before she turned 15, Lipinski won the Winter Olympic gold medal at Nagano, Japan in 1998. Unfortunately, her skating years didn’t last long as she quit the professional circuit in 2002 citing health reasons. However, her career as a figure skating analyst with NBC Sports took off and after nearly two decades away from the limelight, she plans to produce a skating show and hopes to bring figure skating to its former esteem.

As skating rinks around the world prepare to dive into the oncoming winter months, one of the most famous ice skating rinks in the world, the one at the iconic Rockefeller Centre in New York will celebrate its 80th anniversary this season. Opening for the winter season is scheduled in early October and already reservations for skating packages are underway. Skating enthusiasts are looking forward to making special memories of the season at the rink located at Fifth Avenue.

Skating is a popular sport that involves using skates to move on any surface including naturally occurring frozen water bodies such as lakes, ponds or rivers or artificially frozen tracks like parks, rinks and tracks which are mostly indoors.

According to a study by the Oxford University, Finland was where the earliest ice skating activity happened nearly 3000 years ago when flattened and sharpened bones were strapped to leather boots for people to glide on ice. The first ice skates were invented in the 13th century by the Dutch people. In the Nordic region, ice skating is a necessary skill besides a common sport for all classes of people.

Follow us