The Joy of Adult Figure Skating
What a great time to be an adult figure skater! When time allows, I head down to my local figure skating club on Saturday mornings and try my hand at some basic jumps, spins and spirals. Sounds pretty straightforward, but it’s actually quite extraordinary. When I was skating competitively in the 80′s, the thought that a skating club would dedicate a session to adult figure skaters would have seemed kind of weird. The best an adult with an itch to try some loop jumps could do was brave a public skating session. How times have changed!
Adult figure skating hasn’t just become popular as a fitness activity. Since the mid-90′s it’s been a passion for thousands of adults who participate each year in competitive events. Here’s a little trivia and history:
Today, a whole competitive stream exist for figure skaters over 21. Adult programs began in the mid-90′s when organizations, like US Figure Skating, introduced tests and competition standards for adults. The first US Adult Figure Skating Championships took place in 1995 while Canada’s first adult national championship were held in 2004. The adult figure skating phenomenon is growing around the world. The International Skating Union held its first ISU International Adult Figure Skating Competition in 2005 in Germany. I’m delighted to share the ice on Saturday mornings with an adult dance pair who are off to the ISU Adult Figure Skating Competition in Oberstdorf Germany again this year.
As an adult figure skater, I’m so pleased that this growing trend means I can still enjoy and participate in the sport I dedicated my childhood to. I’m also inspired to see a love of figure skating evolve in those who did not have the opportunity to give it a try as children.
Update: Since I wrote this post, a new ISU Adult Figure Skating Working Group website has launched. Check it out for more info about upcoming competitions and more.