Considered by some as the magnum opus of the Winter Olympics, the sport of Figure Skating is one of the first things that pops into many people’s minds when they think of the Winter Games.
The sport is perhaps the most aesthetic of the Winter Olympic disciplines and simultaneously demands immense strength and poetic grace. There are 5 events at the Olympics, all involving the athletes performing complicated artistic manoeuvres on ice skates.
The Ladies’ and Men’s Singles have one free skate (around 4 minutes 30 seconds) and one short program (2 minutes 50 seconds). The Pair Skating event also has the two programs but here, a man and woman perform as a pair. The Ice Dance is also done in pairs and also consists of a short dance and a free dance. Here, it is very important for the skaters to co-ordinate their steps with the music. Finally, there is the Team Event where each team performs all 4 of the aforementioned events and the combined score decides the rankings. In all the events, judges award the skaters points, mainly based on the difficulty and accuracy of the moves, which determine the final rankings.