International figure skating

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Figure skating is a sport with participants across the world. Originally based in North America and Europe, the sport has experienced a major expansion in the countries of East Asia.

The international governing body of the sport is the International Skating Union (ISU). Only those nations which are members of the International Skating Union are allowed to compete in the figure skating events in the Olympic Games.

Africa[edit]

Country ISU member Governing body Official site Skaters Additional
South Africa Yes South African Figure Skating Association http://www.safsa.org.za/ Category

Americas[edit]

Country ISU member Governing body Official site Skaters Additional
Argentina Provisional Federación Argentina de Patinaje Sobre Hielo http://www.faph.org.ar/ Category
Brazil Yes Brazilian Ice Sports Federation http://www.cbdg.org.br/ Category
Canada Yes Skate Canada http://www.skatecanada.ca/en/ Category
Chile No Federación Deportiva Nacional de Patinaje Sobre Hielo http://www.patinajesobrehielochile.com
Mexico Yes Federacion Mexicana de Deportes Invernales Category
Puerto Rico Provisional Puerto Rico Skating Federation Category
United States Yes U.S. Figure Skating http://www.usfigureskating.org/ Category

Asia[edit]

Country ISU member Governing body Official site Skaters Additional
China Yes Chinese Skating Association http://www.chnfs.org/ Category  Macau – Macau Skating Union
Hong Kong Yes Hong Kong Skating Union Category
India Yes Ice Skating Association of India Category
Indonesia Yes Skyrink Jakarta
Japan Yes Japan Skating Federation http://www.skatingjapan.or.jp/ Category
Kazakhstan Yes Skating Federation of the Republic of Kazakhstan Category
Malaysia Provisional Ice Skating Association of Malaysia http://www.isam.my/
Mongolia Yes Skating Union of Mongolia
North Korea Yes Skating Association of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Category
Pakistan No Pakistan Skating Association
Philippines Yes Philippine Skating Union http://www.figureskatingph.com/ Category
Singapore Provisional Singapore Ice Skating Association Category
South Korea Yes Korea Skating Union http://skating.or.kr/ Category
Chinese Taipei Yes Chinese Taipei Skating Union Category
Thailand Yes Figure and Speed Skating Association of Thailand Category
Turkmenistan No Figure Skating Federation of the Republic of Turkmenistan
United Arab Emirates Yes United Arab Emirates Ice Sports Federation http://www.uaeisf.com/
Uzbekistan Yes Figure Skating Federation of the Republic of Uzbekistan Category

Europe[edit]

Some countries within Asia are listed here if they may compete at the European Championships.

Country ISU member Governing body Official site Skaters Additional
Andorra Yes Federacio Andorrana d’Esports de Gel http://www.faeg.org Category
Armenia Yes Figure Skating Federation of Armenia http://www.iamsport.org/pg/profile/ArmeniaSkating Category
Austria Yes Österreichischer Eiskunstlauf Verband http://www.skateaustria.com/ Category
Azerbaijan Yes The Skating Federation of Azerbaijan Republic Category
Belarus Yes Skating Union of Belarus Category
Belgium Yes Federation Royale Belge de Patinage Artistique http://www.kbsf.be/ Category
Bosnia and Herzegovina Yes Skating Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina http://www.ksbih.ba/ Category
Bulgaria Yes Bulgarian Skating Federation Category
Croatia Yes Croatia Skating Federation http://www.croskate.hr/ Category
Cyprus Yes Cyprus Ice Skating Federation
Czech Republic Yes Czech Figure Skating Association http://www.czechskating.org/ Category
Denmark Yes Danske Skøjte Union http://www.danskate.dk/ Category
Estonia Yes The Estonian Skating Union Category
Finland Yes Suomen Taitoluisteluliitto http://www.stll.fi/ Category
France Yes Federation Française des Sports de Glace http://www.ffsg.org Category
Georgia Yes Georgian Figure Skating Association Category
Germany Yes Deutsche Eislauf-Union e.V. http://www.eislauf-union.de/ Category
Gibraltar No Gibraltar Skating Association
Greece Yes Hellenic Ice Sports Federation http://www.hisf.gr/ Category Last permanent ice rink closed in May 2003.
Hungary Yes Hungarian National Skating Federation http://www.moksz.hu/ Category
Iceland Yes Icelandic Skating Association http://www.skautasamband.is/ Category
Ireland Yes Ice Skating Association of Ireland http://isai.ie/ Category
Israel Yes Israel Ice Skating Federation http://www.israel-isf.org/ Category
Italy Yes Federazione Italiana Sport del Ghiaccio http://www.fisg.it/ Category
Latvia Yes Latvian Skating Association http://www.skatelatvia.lv/ Category
Lithuania Yes Lithuania Skating Federation Category
Luxembourg Yes Union Luxembourgeoise de Patinage Category
Monaco Yes Federation Monegasque de Patinage Category
Montenegro Yes Skating Association Of Montenegro Category
Netherlands Yes Koninklijke Nederlandsche Schaatsenrijders Bond http://knsb.nl/ Category
Norway Yes Norges Skøyteforbund http://www.skoyteforbundet.no/ Category
Poland Yes Polish Figure Skating Association http://www.pfsa.com.pl/ Category
Portugal Provisional Federação Portuguesa de Patinagem http://www.fpp.pt/ Category
Romania Yes Romanian Skating Federation http://www.frp.ro/ Category
Russia Yes Figure Skating Federation of Russia http://fsrussia.ru/ Category
San Marino No Federazione San Marin Sport del Ghiaccio
Serbia Yes Serbian Skating Association http://www.klizackisavezsrbije.rs/ Category
Slovakia Yes Slovak Figure Skating Association http://www.kraso.sk/ Category
Slovenia Yes Slovene Skating Union http://www.drsalna-zveza.si/ Category
Spain Yes Federación Española de Deportes de Hielo http://www.fedhielo.com/ Category
Sweden Yes Svenska Konståkningsförbundet http://www.skatesweden.se Category
Switzerland Yes Schweizer Eislauf-Verband http://www.swissiceskating.ch/ Category
Turkey Yes Turkish Ice Sports Federation http://www.buzpateni.org.tr/ Category
Ukraine Yes Ukrainian Figure Skating Federation http://ufsf.org/ Category
United Kingdom Yes National Ice Skating Association of Great Britain and N.I. http://www.iceskating.org.uk Category  Northern Ireland – The Northern Ireland Ice Skating Federation
 Scotland – Skate Scotland
 Wales – Welsh Ice Skating Association

Oceania[edit]

Country ISU member Governing body Official site Skaters Additional
Australia Yes Ice Skating Australia http://www.isa.org.au/ Category State associations:
 Australian Capital Territory
 New South Wales
 Queensland
 South Australia
 Victoria
 Western Australia
 Tasmania
New Zealand Yes New Zealand Ice Skating Association http://www.nzifsa.org.nz/ Category

History[edit]

In Australia[edit]

Brisbane hosted the World Junior Championships in 1988 and 1996. Stephanie Zhang (ladies' bronze, 2000) and Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya / Harley Windsor (pairs gold in 2016) have won ISU Junior Grand Prix medals for Australia.

In Austria[edit]

In 1897, Gustav Hügel became the first Austrian to win a World title in figure skating. In 1922, Herma Szabo won Austria's first World ladies' title. She would go on to win the next four World Championships.

Willy Böckl won four consecutive World titles (1925–28). In the 1930s, Karl Schäfer (1930–36) and Felix Kaspar (1937–38) produced a nine-year streak of World men's titles for Austria. Following World War II, Austrian competitors were initially barred from international events. They returned to the World Championships in 1948.

In the 1960s, Austria experienced a resurgence led by Emmerich Danzer, a three-time World champion (1966–68), and Wolfgang Schwarz, the 1968 Olympic champion.

Vienna (1907, 1913, 1923, 1925, 1937, 1955, 1967, 1979) is the only city within the modern borders of Austria to host the World Championships.

In Belarus[edit]

Minsk hosted the World Junior Championships in 2012.

In Belgium[edit]

Antwerp hosted the 1920 Summer Olympics, where figure skating made its second Olympic appearance.

In 1947, Micheline Lannoy / Pierre Baugniet became the first Belgians to win the World title in pair skating.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina[edit]

Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics and three World Junior Championships (1983, 1986, 1989).

In Bulgaria[edit]

Ice dancers Albena Denkova / Maxim Staviski were the first skaters to win a World title for Bulgaria, winning gold in 2006 and 2007.

Sofia has hosted the European Championships (1991, 1996) and World Junior Championships (2001, 2008, 2009, 2014).

In Canada[edit]

The first ISU Championships held in Canada were the 1932 World Championships in Montreal.

In 1947, Barbara Ann Scott became the first Canadian woman to win a World figure skating title. She successfully defended her title the following year. Frances Dafoe / Norris Bowden won Canada's first World pair skating title, in 1954, and repeated the following year. Barbara Wagner / Robert Paul won four consecutive World pairs' titles for Canada, from 1957 to 1960.

In 1957, Geraldine Fenton / William McLachlan became the first Canadian ice dancers to finish on the World podium, taking the silver medal. In 1962, Donald Jackson became the first Canadian to win the World men's title.

Donald McPherson (1963), Petra Burka (1965), and Karen Magnussen (1973) also won World titles for Canada. Kurt Browning became a four-time World champion (1989–91, 1993).

In 2003, Shae-Lynn Bourne / Victor Kraatz won Canada's first World ice dancing title. Tessa Virtue / Scott Moir would be the first Canadian ice dancers to win the Olympics, in 2010.

Montreal (1932), Vancouver (1960, 2001), Calgary (1972, 2006), Ottawa (1978, 1984), Halifax, Nova Scotia (1990), Edmonton (1996), and London, Ontario (2013) have hosted the World Championships. Halifax (1999), Hamilton, Ontario (2004), and Vancouver (2009) have hosted Four Continents. London, Ontario (1981), Kitchener, Ontario (1987, 2005), Hull, Quebec (1992), and Saint John, New Brunswick (1998) have hosted Junior Worlds. Calgary (1988) and Vancouver (2010) have also organized the Winter Olympics.

In China[edit]

In 1995, Chen Lu became the first Chinese woman to win a World title. In 2002, Shen Xue / Zhao Hongbo became the first pair from China to become World champions and the first pair to win an Olympic medal. In 2010, they became China's first Olympic champions in any figure skating category.

Shanghai was the first city in China to host the World Championships, in 2015. Beijing will organize the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Chinese skaters most commonly train in Beijing or Harbin.

In Chinese Taipei[edit]

The city of Taipei hosted the Four Continents Championships in 2011, 2014, and 2016. It will host the World Junior Championships in 2017.

In Croatia[edit]

Croatian skaters represented Yugoslavia until the end of the 1990–91 season. Sanda Dubravčić was the first Croatian woman to stand on an ISU Championship podium, winning silver at the 1981 European Championships. In 1992, Tomislav Čižmešija and Željka Čižmešija became the first skaters to represent Croatia at the Olympics and World Championships.

Zagreb hosted the European Championships in 1974, 1979, 2008, and 2013.

In the Czech Republic[edit]

The first ISU Championships held in the territory that would become the Czech Republic were the 1908 Worlds and 1928 Europeans. Both took place in Opava, which was known as Troppau in 1908. Some Czech skaters may have represented Austria until World War I, following which they could compete for Czechoslovakia.

Josef Slíva was the first Czech skater to compete at the Olympics, placing fourth in 1924 (Chamonix). Alena Vrzáňová was the first Czech woman to medal at the European Championships (taking bronze in 1948), to become a World champion (1949), and to become European champion (1950). Eva Romanová / Pavel Roman were the first Czech ice dancers to stand on a World podium, winning four consecutive gold medals (1962–65). Czech skaters represented Czechoslovakia until the end of the 1992–93 season.

In March 1995, pair skaters Radka Kovaříková / René Novotný won gold at the World Championships in Birmingham, England. In January 2008, Tomáš Verner was awarded gold at the European Championships in Zagreb, Croatia. In February 2009, Michal Březina won silver in men's singles at the 2009 World Junior Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. He won bronze at the 2013 European Championships in Zagreb, Croatia. In March 2016, Anna Dušková / Martin Bidař became the Czech Republic's first World Junior champions in figure skating, taking gold in the pairs event in Debrecen, Hungary.

Two Czech skaters have won Grand Prix events – Verner, at the 2010 Cup of Russia, and Březina, at the 2011 Skate America.

Opava (1908) and Prague (1964, 1993) have hosted the World Championships. Opava (1928), Prague (1934, 1937, 1948, 1988, 1999), and Ostrava (2017) have been selected to host the European Championships.

In Denmark[edit]

Copenhagen is the only Danish city to host the European Championships (1975, 1986, 1994) or World Championships (1982).

In Estonia[edit]

Estonia began holding national championships in 1917 and was represented at the 1936 Winter Olympics. Following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, it was occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union. Although it continued to be recognized as a sovereign state by most western governments, Estonian skaters could no longer represent their native country, until the 1990s. During the occupation, many Russians settled in Estonia and some remained after 1991. Some elite Estonian skaters have come from the Russian community.

Tallinn hosted the 2010 European Championships, 2015 World Junior Championships, and the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Estonia six times.

In Finland[edit]

The first ISU Championships held in Finland were the 1914 World Championships in Helsinki, Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire.

In 1933, Marcus Nikkanen became the first Finn to medal in men's singles at the World Championships, winning bronze.

Helsinki is the only Finnish city to host the World Championships (1914, 1983, 1999, 2017). It hosted the European Championships in 1977, 1993, and 2009.

In France[edit]

Chamonix, France hosted the Figure skating at the 1924 Winter Olympics, where figure skating made its third Olympic appearance. In 1926, Andreé Joly-Brunet / Pierre Brunet won France's first World title in pair skating. They would win three more World titles as a pair.

The first ISU Championships held in France were the 1932 European and 1936 World Championships, both in Paris.

In 1952, Jacqueline du Bief became the first French skater to win the World ladies' title. In 1960, Alain Giletti won the first World men's title for France. Alain Calmat was the next World men's champion from France, in 1965.

In 1991, Isabelle Duchesnay / Paul Duchesnay won France's first World title in ice dancing.

Paris (1932, 1956, 1997), Grenoble (1964), Strasbourg (1978), and Lyon (1982, 2006) have hosted the European Championships. Paris (1936, 1949, 1952, 1958, 1989), Lyon (1971), Nice (2000, 2012) have organized the World Championships. Megève (1976, 1977, 1978, and 1980) has hosted the World Junior Championships. Chamonix (1924), Grenoble (1968), and Albertville (1992) have organized the Olympics.

In Germany[edit]

The first European Championships were held in 1891 in Hamburg. In 1908, representing the German Empire, Anna Hübler / Heinrich Burger became the first-ever World champions in pair skating.

Following World War II, German competitors were barred from international events for several years. West Germany debuted at Worlds in 1951 and East Germany in 1962. In 1954, Gundi Busch (West Germany) became the first German to win a World ladies' title. East German ladies would grow more successful – Gabriele Seyfert, Christine Errath, Anett Pötzsch, and Katarina Witt won a total of nine World titles.

Aliona Savchenko / Robin Szolkowy won five World pairs' titles for Germany.

Berlin (1904, 1911, 1926, 1928, 1931, 1938), Munich (1906, 1974, 1991), Garmisch-Partenkirchen (1956), and Dortmund (1964, 1980, 2004) have hosted the World Championships.

In Hungary[edit]

The first ISU Championships held in Hungary were the 1895 European Championships in Budapest.

In 1908, Lily Kronberger became Hungary's first World figure skating champion. Hungarian skaters would win seven consecutive World ladies' titles – Kronberger in 1908–11, Opika von Méray Horváth in 1912–1914.

In the first half of the 20th century, Hungary had several World bronze medalist in men's singles – Andor Szende (1910, 1912–13), Dénes Pataky (1935), and Elemér Terták (1937). Ede Király won bronze in 1948 and then two consecutive silver medals.

In 1931, Emília Rotter / László Szollás won Hungary's first pair skating World title. Krisztina Regőczy / András Sallay were the first Hungarians to become World champions in ice dancing, winning the 1980 World Championships in Dortmund.

In February 2004, Júlia Sebestyén became the first Hungarian to win a European title in ladies' figure skating.

Budapest (1935, 1939, 1988) is the only city in Hungary to host the World Championships.

In India[edit]

As of 2011, India had four major indoor ice rinks, with plans for ten more to be built, mostly in malls, over the following five years.[1] Gujarat's first indoor rink opened in 2015.[2] The secretary of the Ice Skating Association of India stated that lack of government assistance and a scarcity of international standard rinks continued to hinder the development of its athletes.[2]

In Israel[edit]

In January 2016, Oleksii Bychenko won silver at the European Championships in Bratislava; it was Israel's first European figure skating medal. In March 2016, Daniel Samohin was awarded gold at the World Junior Championships in Debrecen, becoming the first Israeli skater to stand on a World Junior podium and the first to win gold at an ISU Championship.

The number of young skaters training regularly in Israel expanded from twenty to over 350 after the 2013 opening of a rink in Holon but growth remained limited due to a "lack of funding and insufficient facilities".[3]

In Italy[edit]

The first ISU Championships held in Italy were the 1949 European and 1951 World Championships, both in Milan. In 1953, Carlo Fassi won Italy's first World medal (bronze) in men's singles. Cortina d'Ampezzo hosted the 1956 Winter Olympics, where figure skating made its ninth Olympic appearance.

Rita Trapanese was the first Italian woman to stand on the European podium, winning bronze in 1971 and silver in 1972.

In March 2001, ice dancers Barbara Fusar-Poli / Maurizio Margaglio became the first Italians to win a World title in any figure skating discipline. In March 2012, Carolina Kostner became Italy's first World champion in ladies' singles. In March 2014, Anna Cappellini / Luca Lanotte won Italy's third World figure skating title.

Milan (1949, 1998), Bolzano (1954), and Turin (2005) have hosted the European Championships. Milan (1951), Cortina d'Ampezzo (1963), and Turin (2010) have hosted the World Championships. Cortina d'Ampezzo (1956) and Turin (2006) have organized the Olympics.

In Japan[edit]

By 1932, Japan began sending skaters to the World Championships and Olympics. Following World War II, Japanese competitors were barred from international events for several years and returned to the World Championships in 1951. Sapporo was the first Japanese city to host the Winter Olympics, in 1972, while Tokyo was the first Japanese city to host the World Championships, in 1977.

At the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Midori Ito became the first woman to land seven triple jumps in one segment. In March 1989, she won Japan's first World title in figure skating. In February 1992, she became the first Japanese skater to stand on an Olympic podium, winning silver at the Winter Olympics in Albertville, France. She is the first woman to land a triple-triple jump combination and a triple Axel in competition.

In February 2006, Shizuka Arakawa became the first Japanese skater to be awarded an Olympic gold medal.

Narumi Takahashi / Mervin Tran won Japan's first World medal in pair skating, taking bronze at the 2012 World Championships in Nice, France.

In February 2014, Yuzuru Hanyu won Japan's first Olympic title in men's figure skating. Mao Asada is her country's most successful ladies' figure skater at the World Championships, winning three titles.

Tokyo (1977, 1985, 2007), Chiba, Chiba (1994), Nagano (2002), Saitama, Saitama (2014) have hosted the World Championships, while Osaka (2000, 2013) has hosted Four Continents. Sapporo also hosted the 1984 World Junior Championships. Sapporo (1972) and Nagano (1998) have organized the Winter Olympics.

In Latvia[edit]

Latvia had representatives in all three disciplines at the 1936 Winter Olympics. Following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, it was occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union. Although it continued to be recognized as a sovereign state by most western governments, Latvian skaters could no longer represent their native country, until the 1990s. During the occupation, many Russians settled in Latvia and some remained after 1991. Some elite Latvian skaters have come from the Russian community.

Konstantin Kostin (in 1993) and Angelīna Kučvaļska (in 2016) have finished as high as fourth at the European Championships.

In Lithuania[edit]

Following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Lithuania was occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union. Although it continued to be recognized as a sovereign state by most western governments, Lithuanian skaters could not represent their native country prior to the 1990s. Compared to the other Baltic states, fewer elite Lithuanian skaters have come from the Russian community due to the smaller scale of Russian immigration during the occupation. Margarita Drobiazko / Povilas Vanagas are the most successful Lithuanian skaters, having won bronze medals at the World Championships, European Championships, and Grand Prix Final.

In Kazakhstan[edit]

In March 2013, Denis Ten was awarded the silver medal at the World Championships; it was Kazakhstan's first World medal in figure skating. In February 2014, he became his country's first Olympic medalist in figure skating, winning bronze in Sochi. In February 2015, he became the first skater from Kazakhstan to stand on the podium at a Four Continents Championships, receiving the gold medal.

In the Netherlands[edit]

The Dutch added edges to ice skates in the 13th or 14th century. Skating was used as a means of transportation because the waterways which connected Dutch towns sometimes froze for months on end, hampering the economy.

In 1962, Sjoukje Dijkstra became the first World ladies' champion from the Netherlands. She would win three consecutive World titles.

In Norway[edit]

The first ISU Championships held in Norway were the 1898 European Championships in Trondheim.

Sonja Henie was the first Norwegian woman to become a World figure skating champion and the most successful ladies' singles skater in history. She won three consecutive Olympics (1928, 1932, 1936), ten consecutive World Championships (1927–36), and six consecutive European Championships (1931–36).

Oslo (1952) and Lillehammer (1994) have organized the Winter Olympics. Oslo has hosted the World Championships (1954). Trondheim (1898) and Oslo (1913, 1923, 1950) have hosted the European Championships.

In Poland[edit]

Due to the Partitions of Poland, Polish skaters initially lacked the option of representing their native country. Some may have competed for Austria, Germany or the Russian Empire until Poland regained its independence following World War I.

The first ISU Championships held in Poland were the 1908 European Championships in Warsaw, then under the Russian Empire. Zofia Bilorówna / Tadeusz Kowalski were Poland's first European medalists, winning bronze at the 1934 European Championships.

Grzegorz Filipowski won two European medals – bronze in 1985 and silver in 1989 – and bronze at the 1989 World Championships.

No Polish city has ever hosted the World Championships. Warsaw hosted the European Championships in 1908 and 2007.

In Russia[edit]

In 1896, the Russian Empire hosted the first World Figure Skating Championships, in Saint Petersburg. In October 1908, Nikolai Panin became Russia's first Olympic champion, winning gold in special figures at the Summer Olympics in London.

Following the Russian Civil War, Russian skaters represented the Soviet Union. Until the late 1950s, they were rarely sent to international competitions. Ludmila Belousova / Oleg Protopopov began the forty-year Soviet/Russian gold medal streak in pair skating, the longest in Olympic sports history, from 1964 to 2006. Irina Rodnina won ten consecutive World titles (1969–78) and three successive Olympic gold medals (1972, 1976, 1980). She and Artur Dmitriev are the only pair skaters to win the Olympics with two partners.

In 1969, Lyudmila Pakhomova / Aleksandr Gorshkov became the first Russian ice dancers to stand on a World podium, winning the silver medal. From 1970 to 1979, Moscow natives were awarded ten consecutive World ice dancing titles, beginning with Pakhomova/Gorshkov, who won five.

Russian skaters competed for the Soviet Union through the first half of the 1991–92 season. In the second half, they represented the Commonwealth of Independent States (at the 1992 Europeans and 1992 Worlds), and the Unified Team (at the 1992 Winter Olympics). By the start of the 1992–93 season, they were competing under the Russian flag.

Russian skaters won four consecutive Olympics in men's singles – Alexei Urmanov in 1994, Ilia Kulik in 1998, Alexei Yagudin in 2002, and Evgeni Plushenko in 2006. Yagudin also won four World titles (1998–2000, 2002) and three European titles, while Plushenko won three World titles (2001, 2003–04) and seven European titles. Ice dancers Oksana Grishuk / Evgeni Platov won two consecutive Olympic titles for Russia.

In March 1999, Maria Butyrskaya became the first Russian to win the World ladies' title.

The most common training locations for elite skaters are Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Perm, Yekaterinburg, and Kirov, Kirov Oblast have produced successful skaters. In the 21st century, Sochi grew in popularity as a training location. Saint Petersburg (1896, 1903) and Moscow (2005, 2011) have hosted the World Championships.

In March 2016, Russia had over 400 rinks with artificial ice.[4]

In Slovakia[edit]

Some Slovak skaters may have represented Austria until World War I, following which they could compete for Czechoslovakia. The first ISU Championships held in Slovakia were the 1958 European Championships in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia.

Karol Divín, who trained in Bratislava, won the 1960 Olympic silver medal, two European titles (1958–59), and two World medals (silver in 1962, bronze in 1964). Ondrej Nepela was the first Slovak to become the World men's champion (1971–73) and the first to win the Olympics (1972). Jozef Sabovčík won the 1984 Olympic bronze medal and two European titles (1985 and 1986). Slovak skaters represented Czechoslovakia until the end of the 1992–93 season.

Bratislava (1973) is the only Slovak city to host the World Championships. It hosted the European Championships in 1958, 1966, 2001, and 2016.

In Slovenia[edit]

Ljubljana is the only Slovenian city to host the European Championships (1967) or World Championships (1970).

In South Korea[edit]

In February 2010, Kim Yuna became the first Olympic figure skating champion from South Korea.

Jeonju (2002, 2010), Gangneung (2005, 2017), Goyang (2008), and Seoul (2015) have been selected to host the Four Continents Championships. Seoul (1993, 1997) and Gangneung (2011) have also hosted the World Junior Championships. Pyeongchang will host the 2018 Winter Olympics.

In Spain[edit]

In January 2013, Javier Fernández became the first Spanish skater to win the European title. At the time, Spain had just 14 indoor rinks and 600 registered figure skaters.[5] In March 2015, Fernández won Spain's first World title in figure skating. When he repeated in 2016, Spain had 17 ice rinks, compared to a hundred in Toronto, and 300 licensed skaters, compared to about 15,000 in France.[6][7]

No ISU Championships have been held in Spain but the country has twice hosted the combined Grand Prix Final and Junior Grand Prix Final, in 2014 and 2015.

In Sweden[edit]

The first ISU Championships held in Sweden were the 1897 World Championships in Stockholm. Ulrich Salchow won ten World figure skating titles for Sweden (1901–05 and 1907–11).

Stockholm (1897, 1901, 1905, 1909, 1922, 1934, 1947) and Gothenburg (1976, 2008) have hosted the World Championships. Stockholm (1912, 2015), Västerås (1968), Gothenburg (1972, 1980, 1985), Malmö (2003) have hosted the European Championships.

In Switzerland[edit]

The first ISU Championships held in Switzerland were the 1899 Europeans and 1899 Worlds, both in Davos. Saint Moritz hosted the 1928 and 1948 Winter Olympics, where figure skating made its fourth and seventh Olympic appearances, respectively.

In 1947, Hans Gerschwiler won Switzerland's first World men's title. Stéphane Lambiel became a two-time World champion (2005–06).

Davos (1899, 1900, 1910, 1927, 1948, 1953, 1966), Zurich (1933), Geneva (1968, 1986), and Lausanne (1997) have hosted the World Championships. St. Moritz hosted the Olympics in 1928 and 1948.

In Ukraine[edit]

Ukrainian skaters competed for the Soviet Union for much of the 20th century. This ended after the December 1991 referendum, in which every oblast approved Ukraine's declaration of independence. In the second half of the 1991–92 season, Ukrainian skaters represented the Commonwealth of Independent States (at the 1992 Europeans and 1992 Worlds), and the Unified Team (at the 1992 Winter Olympics). By the start of the 1992–93 season, they were competing under the Ukrainian flag.

Viktor Petrenko won the 1992 Olympic title representing the Unified Team. Oksana Baiul won the 1993 World Championships and 1994 Olympics competing for Ukraine. Dmytro Dmytrenko won gold at the 1993 European Championships and Viacheslav Zagorodniuk took bronze at the 1994 World Championships.

Ukraine has never hosted a major international figure skating competition. It has organized four ISU Junior Grand Prix events, from 1997 to 2004. It was scheduled to host its first ISU Challenger Series event in November 2016 but the competition was cancelled.[8] In 2010, Tatiana Volosozhar and Stanislav Morozov stated that conditions for skaters in Ukraine were poor, with only one good rink remaining.[9] Most of Ukraine's figure skaters have come from Kiev, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, and Odessa. Western oblasts have developed few competitors due to limited ice rinks. In 2016, Uzhhorod began construction of an Olympic-sized ice rink.[10]

In the United Kingdom[edit]

The first ISU Championships held in the United Kingdom were the 1898 World Championships in London. London was also the location of figure skating's Olympic debut, which occurred at the Summer Olympics in October 1908.

In February 1899, Edgar Syers became the first British skater to win a World medal, taking the bronze medal. In 1902, Madge Syers won the World silver medal competing against men. In 1906, following the creation of a separate category for women, she became the first-ever World ladies' champion. In 1909, Phyllis Johnson / James H. Johnson became the first British pair to win the World title.

Jean Westwood / Lawrence Demmy won the first-ever World ice dancing title, in 1952, and went on to become four-time World champions. British ice dancers won nine consecutive World titles from 1952 to 1960. Jayne Torvill / Christopher Dean won the 1984 Winter Olympics.

London (1898, 1902, 1929, 1950), Manchester (1912, 1924), and Birmingham (1995) have hosted the World Championships.

In August 2000, Sport England decided that the National Ice Skating Association would no longer receive £400,000 annually from lottery funds, citing poor performance.[11]

In the United States[edit]

In 1924, Beatrix Loughran became the first U.S. skater to stand on the World ladies' podium, winning the bronze medal. She also won silver at the 1924 Winter Olympics. The first ISU Championships held in the United States were the 1930 World Championships in New York City. Lake Placid, New York hosted the 1932 Winter Olympics, where figure skating made its fifth Olympic appearance.

Figure skating grew in the U.S. following World War II. In 1948, Dick Button became the first American men's skater to win the Olympics, and the first to become World champion. In 1950, Karol Kennedy / Peter Kennedy won the United States' first World pair skating title. In 1953, Tenley Albright became the first American woman to win the World title.

From 1948 through 1959, the United States won twelve consecutive World men's titles – Button won five (1948–52), Hayes Alan Jenkins won four (1953–56), and David Jenkins won three (1957–59). From 1953 to 1960, American women won seven World titles – Albright (1953, 1955) and Carol Heiss (1956–60).

In 1952, Carol Ann Peters / Daniel Ryan won bronze at the first-ever World ice dancing competition. In 1961, 18 American skaters heading to the World Championships were killed in the Sabena Flight 548 crash.

In 1966, Peggy Flemming won the first of three consecutive World titles. In 1979, Tai Babilonia / Randy Gardner became the second American pair to become World champions.

Between 1996 and 2003, Michelle Kwan won five World titles. In February 2014, Meryl Davis / Charlie White became the first American ice dancers to become Olympic champions.

New York City (1930), Colorado Springs, Colorado (1957, 1959, 1965, 1969, 1975), Hartford, Connecticut (1981), Cincinnati (1987), Oakland, California (1992), Minneapolis (1998), Washington, D.C. (2003), Los Angeles (2009), and Boston (2016) have hosted the World Championships. Lake Placid, New York (1932, 1980), Squaw Valley, California (1960), and Salt Lake City, Utah (2002) have organized the Olympics. Salt Lake City (2001), Colorado Springs (2006, 2007, 2012) have hosted Four Continents. Colorado Springs (1985, 1990, 1994) has hosted the World Junior Championships.

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b Thomas, Melvyn (30 May 2015). "Gujarat's first indoor ice-skating rink opens in Surat". Times of India. 
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  5. ^ Hersh, Philip (29 March 2016). "Fernández' path to success unlikely as they come". IceNetwork.com. 
  6. ^ Heredia, Sergio (4 April 2016). "Cómo es posible que Javier Fernández gane en patinaje sobre hielo siendo español" [How is it possible for Javier Fernández to win in figure skating being Spanish?]. La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 
  7. ^ Sánchez, Jesús (7 April 2016). "Javier Fernández, una flor en el desierto" [Javier Fernández, a flower in the desert]. Marca (newspaper) (in Spanish). 
  8. ^ "Calendar of Events: Ukrainian Open". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 21 September 2016. 
  9. ^ Golinsky, Reut (2010). "Volosozhar/Morozov on and off the ice". AbsoluteSkating.com. Retrieved 5 December 2010. 
  10. ^ "Закарпатье начинает развивать фигурное катание!" [Transcarpathia begins to develop figure skating!]. Ukrainian Figure Skating Federation (in Russian). 16 March 2016. 
  11. ^ Foster, Peter (21 August 2000). "Cash crisis leaves skaters on thin ice". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 21 April 2017. 

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