The 2012 Summer Games are fast approaching with a total of 36 flagship sports – with one sport missing from the first time the Games were held across the pond. Back in 1908, figure skating was first introduced as an Olympic sport. In those days, there was one Olympiad every four years, and usually held later in the year. These particular Summer Games in London were from October 28 to 29, 1908, and the skating event took place at the Prince’s Skating Club
In the early days of figure skating, the sport was reserved for the elite, the wealthy and the privileged. Entrants for competitions were few and far between. In 1908, none of the events exceed seven contenders and two events had only three competitors.
The sport wouldn’t be seen again until the 1920 Summer Games in Antwerp, Belgium. Figure skating wasn’t included in the 1912 Summer Games in Stockholm, Sweden, and the war disrupted the1916 Olympics in Berlin, Germany.
Figure skating wouldn’t return to the Olympic scene until the 1924 Winter Olympic Games in Chamonix, France. The International Olympic Committee wanted to hold a winter athletics week, and not be limited to the realm of the Summer Games. The 1924 Games were held from January 25 until February 4 – little chance of ice and snow melt.
It will be 100 years since figure skating first arrived at the Olympics – even if somewhat inconsistently.
Figure skating is a sport of ups and downs – and you just can’t keep a good sport down!