Figure Skating in the United States can attribute its history to the greater Boston area. Believe it or not, the first ice skating exhibition of the “International Style” was held right across the river in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The ‘International Style’ of skating is now universally known as figure skating. The sport of figure skating had always had a great local appeal with an enthusiastic group of Boston skaters informally known as the “Back Bay Skating Club”. This group, quite familiar with skating at various outdoor locations in the Boston area, decided that a club was needed to practice figure skating on indoor ice.
This led to the building of the Boston Arena in 1909, which became one of the very first indoor artificial ice surfaces in the United States, giving figure skating a popular activity to do not just in the winter. This became widely known as the birth of “modern” figure skating. In 1912, with good ice available regardless of the weather, the Boston Skaters finally incorporated The Skating Club of Boston.
As figure skating grew and expanded westward beyond the eastern seaboard, the sport inspired national and international participation. Thus, the need for a national governing body was imperative in order to host competitions worldwide. As a result, in 1921, the United States Figure Skating Association (USFSA) was formed. It became clear that The Skating Club of Boston along with the representations from New York would guide the rules and regulations of the USFSA, where leadership from both ends have continued to grow and expand over the years. With involvement from the very beginning, The Skating Club of Boston provides its leadership and expertise to the USFSA in three major areas of activity, in administration, competition and carnival – shows for both community and charity.
It’s obvious that the leadership of The Skating Club of Boston has continued to play a pertinent role in the promotion of worldwide participation in the sport of Figure Skating. Therefore, we can thank The Skating Club of Boston for being a true pioneer to the history of Ice Skating, as well as the city of Boston for its roles in bringing the art of the sport to its well-known status today.