Facts about ice skating

Updated February 21, 2017

Ice skating is a popular recreational and sporting activity that involves movement over ice through the use of ice skates. A number of popular sports, including some featured in the Olympic Games, incorporate ice skating. This is an activity shared by people of all ages and is done across the globe.


Ice skates have a very thin blade that minimises friction and allows for movement across ice. Skaters can use the side of their blades and also gravity and inertia in order to propel themselves across the ice.


Ice skating is an activity that can take place both indoors or outdoors. Indoor skating rinks allow people to skate year-round, while outdoor skating is more scenic and done on frozen bodies of water.

Figure Skating

One of the most popular sports performed with ice skating is figure skating. In this, one or two people perform a choreographed piece to music that shows off the athleticism and artistry that can be achieved with ice skating.

Other Sports

There are many other sports that incorporate ice skating as well. These include ice hockey, ringette, bandy, speed skating and tour skating.


As with most other sports, ice skating comes with its own set of risks. Falling on the ice can injure a person, and many speed skaters who have fallen have suffered extreme injuries, including becoming paralysed. Recreational outdoor ice skaters have also had problems with thin ice, which can break away underneath a skater.

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