Ice Skating, Intro

Ice skating is moving on ice by use of ice skates. It can be done for a variety of reasons, including leisure, traveling, and various sports. Ice skating occurs both on specially prepared indoor and outdoor tracks, as well as on naturally occurring bodies of frozen water such as lakes and rivers.


'Skating fun' by 17th century Dutch painter Hendrick Avercamp.

A study by Federico Formenti of the University of Oxford suggests that the earliest ice skating happened in Southern Finland about 4000 years ago.[1] 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 construction of modern ice skates has stayed largely the same.

The Skater, 1782, a portrait of William Grant by Gilbert Stuart.
Central Park, New York City, Winter: The Skating Pond, 1862.

In the Netherlands, ice skating was considered proper for all classes of people to participate in, as shown in many pictures by the Old Masters. James II of England came to the Netherlands in exile, and he fell for the sport. When he went back to England, this "new" sport was introduced to the British aristocracy, and was soon enjoyed by people from all walks of life. It is said that Queen Victoria got to know her future husband, Prince Albert, better through a series of ice skating trips; meanwhile Fenland agricultural workers became masters of speed skating. However, in other places, participation in ice skating was limited to members of the upper classes. Emperor Rudolf II of the Holy Roman Empire enjoyed ice skating so much he had a large ice carnival constructed in his court in 1610 in order to popularise the sport. King Louis XVI of France brought ice skating to Paris during his reign. Madame de Pompadour, Napoleon I, Napoleon III, and the House of Stuart were, among others, royal and upper class fans of ice skating.

How it works

Ice skating works because the metal blade at the bottom of the ice skate shoe can glide with very little friction over the surface of the ice. However, slightly leaning the blade over and digging one of its edges into the ice ("rockover and bite") gives skaters the ability to increase friction and control their movement at will. In addition, by choosing to move along curved paths while leaning their bodies radially and flexing their knees, skaters can use gravity to control and increase their momentum. They can also create momentum by pushing the blade against the curved track which it cuts into the ice. Skillfully combining these two actions of leaning and pushing— a technique known as "drawing"— results in what looks like effortless and graceful curvilinear flow across the ice.

How the low-friction surface develops is not exactly known, but a large body of knowledge does exist. These are explained below.

Experiments show that ice has a minimum kinetic friction at −7°C (19°F), and many indoor skating rinks set their system to a similar temperature. The low amount of friction actually observed has been difficult for physicists to explain, especially at lower temperatures. On the surface of any body of ice at a temperature above about −20°C (−4°F), there is always a thin film of liquid water, ranging in thickness from only a few molecules to thousands of molecules. This is because an abrupt end to the crystalline structure is not the most entropically favorable possibility. The thickness of this liquid layer depends almost entirely on the temperature of the surface of the ice, with higher temperatures giving a thicker layer. However, skating is possible at temperatures much lower than −20°C, at which temperature there is no naturally occurring film of liquid.

When the blade of an ice skate passes over the ice, the ice undergoes two kinds of changes in its physical state: an increase in pressure, and a change in temperature due to kinetic friction and the heat of melting. Direct measurements[2] show that the heating due to friction is greater than the cooling due to the heat of melting. Although high pressure can cause ice to melt, by lowering its melting point, the pressure required is far greater than that actually produced by ice skates. Frictional heating does lead to an increase in the thickness of the naturally occurring film of liquid, but measurements with an atomic force microscope have found the boundary layer to be too thin to supply the observed reduction in friction[3].


The first main danger in ice skating is falling on the ice, which is dependent on the quality of the ice surface, the design of the ice skate, and the skill and experience of the skater. While serious injury is rare, a number of (short track) skaters have been paralysed after a fall when they hit the boarding. An additional danger of falling is injury caused by the skater's own metal blades or those of other skaters. Falling can be fatal if a helmet is not worn to protect against serious head trauma.

The second, and more serious, danger is falling through the ice into the freezing water underneath when skating outdoors on a frozen body of water. This can lead to serious injury or death due to shock, hypothermia or drowning. It is often difficult or impossible for skaters to climb out of the water back onto the ice due to the ice repeatedly breaking, the skater being weighed down by skates and thick winter clothing, or the skater becoming disoriented under water. The skater may even not be able to find the hole he fell through. This may result in drowning or hypothermia, but the rapid cooling can also create a state in which someone can be revived up to hours after having fallen in the water.


Major international competitions are sanctioned by the International Skating Union (ISU). These include the Winter Olympic Games, the World Championships, the World Junior Figure Skating Championships, the European Figure Skating Championships, the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, and the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating. at Frysia, the Netherlands, the Elfstedentocht is a 200 km long race on natural ice around the province, which was held for the first time in 1909 and has by 2008 been held only 15 times because the ice along the entire course has to be thick enough for large groups to skate on. It is expected to become an even more rare event in the future, due to climate change.

Source: Wikipedia

Specialized Ice-Hockey Training for Kids - How Important Is That?

They say anything you do in childhood affects you at later ages. It's true. You can see that around you, in the people close to you, even in yourself.

Bad habits that one acquires at an early age are difficult to shake as an adult. Things you do wrong as a child or as an adolescent that are not corrected in time are very likely to remain with you for the rest of your life.

Ice-Hockey is not different. In fact, it may be more so than other aspects, because it involves so many techniques that are necessary to make a good hockey player. A fault in any of these as a result of a bad childhood habit will result in your child being a lesser hockey player when he or she grows up. Those bad habits will stick with them and hinder their progress. If your child acquires an error in skating technique, for example - that error will most likely be there forever, in every game, at every age.

The same goes for off-ice training. The importance of off-ice training for the development of an ice-hockey player is irrefutable. If your child does not practice off-ice properly, with drills matching his or her age and progress, your child's game will suffer during the season - and later in life. Your child needs personal guidance in order to practice correctly off the ice, in order to make his or her hockey abilities optimal - for now and for years to come. And there's more - proper off-ice training will improve your child's chances to avoid injuries.

If your child practices in a team, he or she doesn't always get the attention he or she needs. Errors on the personal level are often overlooked by coaches who have to pay attention to many kids at the same time, and focus on team play. Off the ice it's usually even worse - off-ice training doesn't get the emphasis it deserves, especially when it comes down to the level of the individual child. As a result, errors and bad practice habits are not corrected in time, and they root themselves into your child's play to stay.

One option to resolve this is to hire a personal coach to train your child off-ice. It's a wonderful method to root these mistakes before it's too late. However, few parents can endure the expenses involved with personal coaching to their children, for years and years, until they grow up.

Another option is to get The Hockey Speed and Power Specialized Training Manual, written by a former NHL player, intended exactly for that. Here's where you can learn about it. It's a series of three books specialized for off-ice training children and adolescents, in order to make them better hockey players, for the present and for the future. Each book is intended for a specific age group. Buy the one matching your child's age - or buy all three, so your child is never left alone and there is always proper coaching available, for years to come, until and through adulthood.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to help your child become a better hockey player - it's a small investment for big earnings in hockey abilities, at the critical childhood and adolescence ages.

Get Hooked On Figure Skating

You are never too old to figure skate, however if your thinking about making it to the Olympic games there may be some concern depending with the age in question. Skating can be a relaxing and an enjoyable pastime for young and old alike. However, the sport of figure skating involves a lot of stamina, flexibility and strength. If the aim is to compete at international or world standards then really the sooner you can get onto the ice the better. Then, stop commiserating about your age. Are you back from the rink yet? Figure skating is an enjoyable way to get fit and have a lot of fun as well. It is freedom. It is exciting. Anyone at any age can enjoy figure skating.

Even if you have not started young, don't despair! With determination, the right attitude and the will to succeed, anything is possible. If you would like to give figure skating a try, enrolling in group lessons would be a smart move. It's great to get instant feed back. The best thing is to have fun and be safe.

Basic figure skating moves can be equally easy and difficult to master. There are off days as well as good ones. With lots of practice, it is possible to become quite accomplished. If you wish to learn figure skating at a competitive level then it is important that you get a coach that you can trust, one that you can work with.

I am telling you this once and for all: There is no such thing as too old for figure skating. Ninety percent of figure skating is passion and determination which translate in how much time you spend on the ice.

If you are continuously thinking about it, or finding ways to improve yourself, reading about it, watching the competition umpteenth time on your Tvo over and over thinking, watching so much, somehow, those elements will transmit into your body. If you find yourself wanting to be at the rink at every waking moment to practice, then you are NOT TOO OLD.

You need the right combinations: perseverance, determination, and passion, you will need those especially when you are having an off day. Those days do appear at times. That is when you will go home angry, and frustrated, because you were doing fine and all of a sudden there is a glitch.
However, the next day, you lace your skates up and back for more. SO NO ONE IS EVER TOO OLD FOR ANYTHING, especially if you have determination, desire, and passion.

The sense of achievement will give a tremendous boost to your ego. The main thing is to enjoy your moments on the ice. After all that is why you are there isn't it? I always believe that if you are doing something that you are truly enjoying then you are going to want to improve your skills to get the most out of it.

Figure Skating - The Ins And Outs Of The Sport

Figure skating is a technically demanding and graceful sport. A pleasure to watch as the skaters glide over the surface of ice.

But do you really understand what it is all about?

What makes one jump tougher to do than another?

How do the Judges award the scores?

With the popularity of figure skating growing, especially during the Olympic games we thought we should help you to understand what it is all about.

Here is an amazing fact. Figure skaters will beat every hockey player in a flat out race. They even beat them skating backwards.

If you ever attend a professional hockey game and sit near the ice you will find the above statement hard to believe. But it's true. Figure skating is fast.

The reason for this is the hockey player is trained to use his power to accelerate in a quick burst of speed and to dart from side to side instantly. The figure skater is trained to glide with longer strides with less of the quick turns. They train to jump.

Figure skaters got their name from the compulsory figures they had to do in competition prior to 1990 when it was finally dropped. The skaters were required to perform figures tracing a pattern on the ice such as a figure eight. Not only that but they had to do it on the inside or the outside of the blade.

Once completed the judges would literally get down on the ice to check the tracing to see how close they came to perfection. Since figure skating is not an exact science, everything must be considered.

Points were awarded or lost if the figure went too far or there were additional tracings caused by wobbling or putting the other foot down. Skaters and audiences were no doubt extremely happy to hear they were eliminated.

The School figures competition was a part of the figure skating because the judges were able to better judge the technical perfection than the current methods do. Technique is not as important today as skaters who may be weaker technically may still win.

Up until recently there were two categories of skaters. Professional and Amateur. Only amateur skaters could compete in the Olympics. Professional skaters were barred. Times have changed as the cost of preparing to compete in figure skating has risen so that today it can cost up to $45,000 per year.

Now amateurs are allowed to earn money, but only in eligible, sanctioned events. The old categories are no more. Now eligible skaters are able to compete in the Olympics and ineligible skaters have given up the right by competing in unsanctioned events.

Each country has a figure skating federation to govern which is an eligible event. Once an event has been given the blessing of the governing body, anyone can enter.

Some skaters who have had success at the Olympics may feel they would be better off skating professionally and retire. Others may have simply decided to retire due to time or money restraints of Olympic competition.

Becoming eligible for Olympic competition is extremely competitive and some skaters simply drop out and turn professional performing in such shows as Ice Capades and Disney on Ice.

There are two programs in competitive figure skating.

The short program lasts 2 ½ minutes. Worth one third of the overall score, consists of required elements that the skater may perform in any order to the music they have chosen. They have three jumps, three spins and two footwork requirements. Failure to execute any of these compulsory movements will reduce their score. A missed move is a lost move since the skater cannot retry a move.

The longfigure skating program last four minutes and counts for 2/3 of the over all score. Judges allow a little more flexibility and there are no set requirements. Most of the competitors today include 6 or 7 triple jumps, several spins and combinations. Most men not only do the same but also do quadruple jumps during their free-skate program.

The judges then award points for a score. Two aspects are considered.

Technical mark takes into account the requires elements. It reflects the difficulty the skaters had to perform as well as the clean execution of the spins, footwork and jumps.

The Presentation mark reflects the flow, as well as the choreography and the balance of the figure skating program. It also takes into account the skaters ability to reflect themselves into the music. They must skate with speed, confidence and effort.


Figure skating is not an exact science and neither is judging. The scores can range from 0.0 to 6.0. Judges must take into consideration all of the various aspects involved in the program and make a scoring decision based upon the guidelines. Very rarely will an Olympic figure skating contestant obtain a score of 6.0.

Joe and Irma have built a wonderful fact filled site with well over 100 pages of information a visitor really must know prior to visiting.

Joe Macmillan - EzineArticles Expert Author

History of RollerBlades

Roller blades, roller skates or inline skates all refer to a skate. History of roller blade is somewhat long and winding. While people often use the term roller blade for the boot with wheels underneath, it may help to know that roller blade is actually a trade name and not the boot with wheel that you usually enjoy. Rollerblade, Inc. is the manufacturer of many modern roller skates.

Historical timelines of roller blades


The history of roller blades or roller skates, started in the early 1700s when a London stage performer used roller skates in a performance. This is the first sighting of a roller blade. The concept came from Holland where Dutchmen would nail wooden spools to strips of wood and attaching them to their shoes. They will use their skeelers to slide through frozen canals.


Joseph Merlin, a London instrument maker and inventor wants to impress some people to promote his museum. He attended a masquerade party using metal-wheeled boots. However, to make his entrance engaging, he played his violin as he rolls his skates. Unfortunately, he crashed into a solid mirror wall.


In this year, the premier German Ballet group known as Der maler oder dei Wintervergn or The Artist or Winter Pleasures used roller skates in one of their production numbers. The intention was actually to perform ice skating, however since during this time it is yet impossible to produce ice on a stage, rollers skates are a better alternative.


Monsieur Petibledin received the first patent for a roller skate in France. His roller skates are made of wood sole that is attached at the bottom of a boot. There are two to four rollers made of either copper, wood or ivory forming a straight line under the wood sole.


Another patent was issued for Rolito. Rolito is a shoe or boot with five lined wheels at the bottom. This is the first design that resembles our roller skates of today, however, Rolito cannot follow curved path as the skates of today can.


The birth of quad skates entered the history of roller blades or roller skates. An American inventory names James Plimpton designed a usable pair of skates. His skates had two parallel sets of wheels: one pair under the heel and the other pair under the toes. Plimptons design was the first useable pair of skates; it is able to navigate curves unlike earlier models.


Seven thousand people attended the opening of a skating rink in a Chicago Coliseum. This started series of skating rinks opening in the United States.


The disco era gave skating another boost in popularity where many Hollywood movies included roller skating in their theme. Over 4,000 roller discos are also seen operating in and around the United States.


This marks the birth of the name roller blades. Hockey players and brothers Scott and Brennan Olson redesigned an old skates as a tool to practice hockey. They used modern materials in improving the design. They also establish Rollerblade, Inc.. The modern design of roller skates made the most useful and modern design possible for this sliding tool. Since, then roller skates are already known to people as roller blades.

Other improvements and variations are developed to roller blades but the history started with the establishment of Rollerblade, Inc.

Not sure which rollerblades to buy see for great advice and a wide range of rollerblades.

Can I Become a Certified Yoga Teacher - If I Was a Competitive Ice Skater?

Once in awhile, I get a great phone call. So, here is something to share with all of you. The following is a question and answer session between a potential applicant and me, which never came to fruition. Sometimes, Yoga is a little different from other activities.

Q: I am a former Silver Medalist figure skater and the years of competition have beaten my body up, but I would like to become a Yoga instructor and coach of ice skating. Does this seem like a viable option? I have a lot of back problems because of the pounding on the ice, but I will be able to do all the required poses.

A: Yes, being a Yoga teacher and a coach of ice skating would be a nice compliment toward the benefit of the young skaters you train, and you could teach them a lot about injury prevention and recovery from injuries. How long have you been practicing Yoga?

Q: Actually I never took a Yoga class, but I figured that it would be an easy transition and I could just jump into it. After all, I am very flexible and should be able to do all of the poses.

I've seen those Yoga pose charts and most of the postures seem like a "piece of cake." I can do splits in every direction and put my feet on my head backwards. How many days do you think it will take me before I can get certified?

A: Those are amazing feats of flexibility. I hate to answer a question with a question, but I have a question for you. How many days do you think it will take me before I can become a competitive silver medalist in figure skating?

Q: What are you trying to say? You know competitive skating is very tough. Not everyone can do it. You must be young and have the right kind of body. It takes years of practice, and you have to learn all of the precise techniques.

A: I agree that figure skating requires all that you say, but Yoga also has its own set of prerequisites. Most of the people who come into a yoga teacher training program have, at least, two years of experience, and many of our graduates have a decade, or more, of training.

Yoga has 5,000 years worth of precision techniques. There is terminology in Yoga that will cause your learning curve to be a bit more difficult than the average intern. You should consider some foundational training before applying to be a Yoga teacher.

Q: Do you mean you won't sell me a course? I just want to get certified. I don't need the "third degree" from you. You know, I can get certified somewhere else. I didn't like the idea of a 240 hour course anyway.

A: Yes, you can become a certified instructor elsewhere, but for the sake of any future students, please take Yoga classes for a year or two and find a compassionate Yoga teacher, who cares about your safety.

Well, that's all folks. That would have made a great podcast, but I would have needed permission, and I do not have the precise technical expertise. Come to think of it, that's why I have technical help.

© Copyright 2008 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, has written many books on the subject of Yoga. He is a co-owner and the Director of Yoga Teacher Training at: Aura Wellness Center, in Attleboro, MA.

He has been a certified Master Yoga Teacher since 1995. To receive Free Yoga videos, Podcasts, e-Books, reports, and articles about Yoga, please visit:

Coverage of Special Olympics - Where Were the Major Television Networks?

I guess the major network television media didn't think that the Special Olympics were special nor really Olympics.

Katie Couric didn't have a little blip about one of the contestants even though her sympathetic style would dictate that she do so. There are always plenty of stories at the Special Olympics.

The Vice President of the United States was ignored as if he wasn't here in Idaho cheering on these special people. The contestants were thrilled by his visit. The national television media was not.

The local television channels asked, "Where is the national coverage?

People in China complained that they had competing athletes but there was no coverage. Well, that was true of Idaho. We had no coverage here to speak of. Well, some.

Even PBS had little or no interest.

U.S. Vice President Announces Appointment of Special Assistant for Disabilities Policy

Vice President Biden said that President Obama was concerned about the Olympics. During his visit to the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Boise, Idaho, on 12 February, he announced that Kareem Dale has been named the special assistant to the president for disabilities policy. Dale's appointment marked the first time a U.S. president has had a special assistant focused exclusively on disability policy.

Biden said, "The commitment that the President and I have to Special Olympics and people with disabilities is deep and abiding. And we are backing up those words with real action at the White House," said Biden. "This is our first step to ensure that we have a strong advocate for people with disabilities at the highest levels of our administration." The nation needs policy changes that will ensure Americans with disabilities can get and keep fulfilling jobs without worrying about losing government-funded health insurance or other assistance, he added. "This is a civil rights movement," Biden said. "There's a need to have changes in policy."

But this was not important to the national media. Why should they mention such trivia? Kareem Dale is partially blind but not as blind as the national media.

Biden watched ice skating. Five pairs competed: Jose Visiconty and Brenda Monreal, Special Olympics Mexico; Tobias Werner and Cristin Ziebe, Special Olympics Germany; and three pairs from Special Olympics Chinese Taipei - I Han Pan and I Ju Wang; Keng Shan Chang and Sung Chien Sung; and Kuei Ying Lin and Fang Ting Hung.

Biden awarded medals to the pairs, and Kwan gave them bouquets. Read the story at the Special Olympic web site.

So, over 2000 athletes come from all the world to Idaho to compete in the Special Olympics and the national media could not find one damned story?

Well, there were over 2000 stories.

Fly Old Glory!

John T. Jones, Ph.D. (, a retired college professor and business executive, former editor of an international engineering magazine. Writer, novelist, painter of landscapes. Lots of grand-kids.

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