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Ice Skating Facts
The History of Ice Skating

People first started to ice skate over 4000 years ago in Finland! But it wasn't until the 14th century when a steel blade was added to the boots that people started skating on the ice rather than just gliding.
   
Ice Skating Facts

Ice skating as a sport

Many people go ice skating for fun with their family or friends in the winter. but ice skating has also developed into four different sports: ice hockey, speed skating, figure skating and ice dancing.

   
Ice Skating Facts

Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey is played on a rectangular rink which has curved corners. The six players on each team aim to score as many goals as possible, by getting the puck into the other teams goal. A puck is a black rubber disk which is 1 inch thick and 3 inches in diameter. Each goal is worth one point. Each game lasts for three 20 minute periods. Often the games are very fast and very rough.

   
Ice Skating Facts

Speed skating

In speed skating participants race one another around an oval track and the racers can reach up to speeds of 30 miles an hour! Male skaters race 500, 1000, 1500, 5000 and 10000 meters, whilst female speed skaters race 500, 1000, 1500, 3000 and 5000 meters.

   
Ice Skating Facts

Figure Skating

In figure skating individuals, pairs or groups perform sequences of dancelike movements, jumps and spins to music. Pair skating can be very exiting to watch as the men can 'throw' their partners into jumps and lift them above their head! Figure Skating is an official event in the Winter Olympics.

   
Ice Skating Facts

Ice Dancing

This is a sport in which couples perform dance routines to music. This sport differs from pairs figure skating as lifts above the shoulder are not allowed. Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean dominated the sport in the 1980s and won four world championships in a row as well as the gold medal at the 1984 Winter Olympics.

   
Ice Skating Facts

The Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics are held every four years, just like the Summer Olympics. They feature winter sports held on snow or ice, such as figure skating, Ice Hockey, bobsledding and alpine skiing. The first Winter Olympics was held in 1924 in Chamonix in France. Canada will host the next Winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010, this will be the second time they will host the games. Many other countries have hosted the games twice, including Italy and Norway. The United States have hosted the games four times, including twice in Lake Placid, New York!

 
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