Facts About Figure Skating

The national governing body in the United States for the sport of figure skating is U.S. Figure Skating, which is comprised of 165,000 members in more than 690 member clubs, collegiate clubs, school affiliated clubs, and more than 900 registered Basic Skills programs. Located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the National Headquarters is also the home to the Hall of Fame and the World Figure Skating Museum. Read on for more numbers and facts that will surprise you about Figure Skating:

  • In total, there were approximately 190 million unduplicated viewers who watched the 2010 Olympics on the NBC Universal network. This number constitutes about two-thirds of all Americans!
  • The United States has won 187 World Championships medals to date, which is more than any other country.
  • Vincent Zhou, born on October 25, 2000, is the youngest athlete on the 2013-2014 United States Figure Skating Team.
  • Figure skates differ from hockey skates because of the large jagged teeth called toe picks in the front of the blade, which allow the skater to jump.
  • The name “Figure Skating” comes from the compulsory part of the competition, which requires skaters to trace perfect figures on the ice, including figure 8’s.
  • Jackson Haines, revolutionized figure skating in 1860s, skating to music, bringing ballet-like movements to the ice, and creating new ones.
  • The sport of International Figure Skating requires skaters to perform a short program that includes mandatory jumps and skills. The long program is a free selection that includes performances of the skater’s choice.
  • Judging is often found to be controversial because of the subjective opinions.
  • International Figure Skating also has paired competitions where judging is based on the intricate synchronization of moves and the performance of lifts and jumps to impress the judges for better scores.


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