Figure Skating

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Figure skating is one of the most glamorous and well-known of the Winter Olympics events. It is both an individual and a team sport. It is the oldest of the Winter Olympics events, appearing on the program in 1924 but also in the Summer Olympics in 1908 and 1920.

Figure skaters have no special equipment other than their skates. They commonly perform routines filled with athletic jumps and graceful maneuvers, all designed to show the skaters' athleticism and artistic ability.

Both men and women participate. Individual events feature men or women performing two routines, one longer than the other. They compile scores given to them by judges, who are from various countries around the world. Men and women skate together in the same sort of events, called pairs. A similar event, called ice dancing (introduced at the 1976 Winter Olympics, in Innsbruck Austria), is more artistic and does not usually involve the athletic jumps and stunts that individual and pairs events have.

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