Ice skating is moving on ice by using ice skates. It can be done for a variety of reasons, including exercise, 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.
The early history of ice skating
A study by Federico Formenti of the University of Oxford suggests that the earliest ice skating happened in southern Finland more than 3,000 years ago.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 since then. In theNetherlands, ice skating was considered proper for all classes of people, as shown in many pictures by the Old Masters.
Figure Ice skating
The first instructional book concerning ice skating was published in London in 1772. The book, written by a British artillery lieutenant, Robert Jones, describes basic figure skating forms such as circles and figure eights. The book was written solely for men, as women did not normally ice skate in the late 18th century. It was with the publication of this manual that ice skating split into its two main disciplines, speed skating and figure skating.
The founder of modern figure skating as it is known today was Jackson Haines, an American. He was the first skater to incorporate ballet and dance movements into his skating, as opposed to focusing on tracing patterns on the ice. Haines also invented the sit spin and developed a shorter, curved blade for figure skating that allowed for easier turns. He was also the first to wear blades that were permanently attached to the boot.