Ice skating is moving forward with metal skates over ice. The goal is to move as fast as possible or be as elegant as possible. Skating over ice can be challenging as you have to make sure that you keep standing on this slippery surface. This can be done indoors in an ice skating rink or outdoors on rivers and lakes during colder days. Let’s see if ice skating is a sport or not. Some people argue that it is whereas others don’t believe so.
What is ice skating?
Ice skating encompasses a lot of activities such as figure skating, downhill ice skating, speed skating, and barrel jumping. Long-distance ice skating is possible as well. For example, in The Netherlands, there is an 11 cities contest during which skaters have to be the first to finish a long trip. All of these require a lot of training. Ice skating can also be done for fun.
Finding your balance at all times can be challenging. If you fall during a contest, you are probably going to lose as other participants can keep moving forward (or backwards).
Speed skating is quite self-explanatory. Skaters compete in teams or individually to be the first to finish a certain distance. There are often turns in the circuit and skaters have to be able to move around them and their opponents without falling over.
Barrel jumping is jumping over barrels that are laid on the ice. Skaters have to have the right speed to be able to jump this high. This can be very challenging as they can trip if they don’t jump high enough.
Figure skating is a type of ballet on ice. Skaters have to show certain moves and get graded on these by a jury. It is typically done with two skaters that work together but can be done alone as well. Skaters wear colorful uniforms when they perform these moves. Sometimes music is played and lights are used to complete the spectacle.
Here are some tips for beginners:
– First, you must wear the right gear. You can skate safely if you are wearing the right gear. You can wear a helmet to protect your head, knee pads to protect your knees, and elbow pads to protect your elbows. Having the right skates is often enough though. Speed ice skaters often wear special uniforms so that they have less air friction and can move forward faster.
– You should have the right attitude. You should not have an impatient attitude. You should be patient while learning how to ice skate.
-Keep your distance from other skaters. You don’t know if they have experience or not. If they fall, it is easier to avoid them.
-Only skate on rivers and lakes that are frozen solid. Skaters are often tempted to give it a try but if the ice is not thick enough, you can fall in the water. The water can be very cold and it can be difficult to get out of it.
-Newer skaters might want to stay on the outer part of the rink as this allows you to get off the ice more easily. It can take some getting used to when you start out and some support from the barrier can help you to get used to ice skating.
Now that we know the basics of ice skating, let’s see if it is a sport.
What is a sport?
The word “sport” is used as a synonym for physical activity or exercise. You might say that someone is a “sport” because they are active and fit. But what does it mean to be a sport? In the broad definition, it means a physical activity that requires certain skills.
Stricter definitions also require that sports have a competitive element. An activity needs 3 components before it can be considered a sport according to these definitions:
1/ A physical activity
2/ That requires a skill
3/ And has a competitive element
In today’s world, most sports involve competitive games where the goal is to beat your opponent. This means that you can’t participate in a sport without having an opponent.
A lot of sports can be viewed on TV and a lot of people have a favorite athlete. This can inspire them to start practicing this sport as well.
Is ice skating a sport? Is it part of the Olympics?
Let’s go over each of these elements to see if ice skating is a sport.
Ice skating has a physical element. Skaters have to use their arms and legs to move forward. Finding your balance can require a lot of effort. Figure skaters often have to train a lot to perfect their moves.
Ice skating requires a lot of skill. Skaters have to be able to find the right balance between speed and agility. They often have to turn and move around on the ice. If they don’t pay enough attention to their posture, they will fall over.
Finally, ice skating also has a competitive element. These contests can be done individually or as a team. Figure and speed skating are even part of the Olympics so a lot of professional athletes are training for this.
To conclude, we can state that ice skating is a sport. It even has all the elements of a sport to comply with the most narrow definitions of this word. If you are just ice skating with friends, there is no competitive element and it can’t always be seen as a sport. If there is a competitive element, such as during the Olympics, ice skating is a sport. Ice skating is mainly popular in colder climates such as The Netherlands, Canada, and Finland. These are also the countries that often win ice skating medals during the Olympics.
We have outlined if curling is a sport HERE.