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Figure Skating in the Formative YearsSingles, Pairs, and the Expanding Role of Women$
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James R. Hines

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039065

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039065.001.0001

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Skating before Figures

Skating before Figures

(p.15) One Skating before Figures
Figure Skating in the Formative Years

James R. Hines

University of Illinois Press

Today, skating on artificial ice in indoor rinks is a year-round recreational activity enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities as well as a sport both amateur and professional that enjoys unprecedented popularity. But throughout most of its history, ice skating has been an activity limited to short seasons and possible only in countries where lakes, ponds, canals, or other bodies of water provide frozen surfaces on which skaters could enjoy the challenge and excitement of gliding across natural ice. In the ancient world, long before skating became a recreational activity or a sport, those same frozen surfaces provided a different kind of challenge. Passage over them was a necessity for survival during harsh winter months. This chapter traces the history of ice skating before the advent of competitive figure skating. It discusses mythology and the earliest skaters; the earliest skates; an early account of recreational skating; skating as a tool of warfare; figure skating's patron saint, the virgin Lydwina of Schiedam.

Keywords:   figure skating, ice skating, skaters, skates, patron saints, Lydwina of Schiedam

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