Boot and Blade

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Archive for Skating History

Does Figure Skating Need More Cool?

Having secured my tickets for Worlds in Nice, France this year I’ve been watching the start of the Grand Prix with extra enthusiasm. It’ a treat to see what’s in store for the year to come. I enjoyed the return to classical music and quintessential, beautiful lines at Skate America and Skate Canada. But, as [...]

Why Are Compulsory Figures a Thing of the Past?

A reader contacted me a couple of weeks ago wanting to learn more about compulsory figures. He’d heard about them before, but wasn’t sure why they were never mentioned on television broadcasts. Compulsory figures were once the heart of figure skating–hence figure skating–but they’re no longer part of the sport. It’s difficult to explain exactly [...]

How Figure Skating Works: Advancements in Figure Skate Construction

A reader asked me for some information on recent advancements in figure skate construction. Here are a few points of interest that might be helpful for his granddaughter’s fourth grade report on Figure Skating. The oldest pair of skates apparently date back to 3000 BC, found at the bottom of a lake in Switzerland. The [...]

How Figure Skating Works: The Science Behind the Art

First off, hello! The figure skating season is about to begin which means it’s time to start blogging here on Boot and Blade. Thanks for joining me again this season. Want to brush up on the sport before the first Grand Prix event? Check out How Figure Skating Works by Keltie Thomas, a delightful book [...]

From the Archives: Compulsory Figures Explained by Dick Button

With compulsory figures still on my mind from my last post, I came across this fascinating TV clip from the 1988 Winter Olympics with highlights from the women’s compulsory figure event in Calgary. There are two especially interesting moments in this 10-minute clip, narrated by American figure skating bigwigs, Dick Button and Peggy Flemming. First, [...]

Thank You Google for More Diagrams of Compulsory Figures

One of the most frequent questions I get here at Boot and Blade is whether I have, or know where to find, diagrams of compulsory figures. It’s remarkable to me that there are so very few instances of compulsory figures on the web. I suppose the answer is simple: the rise of the web coincided [...]

Tis the Season for Skating (Don’t Miss It!)

I can’t find a patch of ice in Malta, which makes me especially sad this time of year. So please, all you folks who can, get to your local rink to enjoy the winter skating season! Thanks to Andrea Heistand for the pretty picture.

The Times They Are a Changin’

I was watching some old figure skating footage on YouTube, which is totally addictive by the way. Specifically, I was reliving Liz Manley’s free program from the ’88 Olympics–I know, I know, I was in a rather nostalgic mood. During the performance the commentators made a rather big deal that Liz Manley was seeing a [...]