Figure skating at the Beijing Olympics

2 minute read

Staff members make ice at the Capital Indoor Stadium, a venue for Figure Skating and Short Track, inside a closed loop area designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, January 12, 2022. REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski

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Jan 24 (Reuters) - Focus on figure skating at the 2022 Beijing Olympics:

THE ABSOLUTE BASICS

* Skaters perform elaborately choreographed routines in singles or pairs on an ice rink to music.

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* Points are awarded for "elements” (such as jumps and spins) and "program components" (more subjective aspects), with deductions for falls and poor execution.

HOW MANY MEDALS?There are five golds up for grabs, one each in the men’s and women’s singles, pairs, ice dance and team event.

WHAT HAPPENED IN PYEONGCHANG?

Japan’s “Ice Prince” Yuzuru Hanyu retained his title in the men’s singles, the first to do so since Dick Button (1948-1952).

At the age of 15, Russian Alina Zagitova became the second youngest skater to win the women’s singles.

Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won their second ice dance gold after French silver medallists Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron suffered a wardrobe malfunction.

Aljona Savchenko, who skated for Ukraine at the 2002 Games, and France-born Bruno Massot won the pairs for Germany months after Massot took German citizenship. Canada won team gold.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN BEIJING?

Hanyu will attempt to match Gillis Grafstrom’s 94-year record of three consecutive men’s singles titles, while American rival Nathan Chen will look to spoil the Japanese skater’s party after missing out on a Pyeongchang medal.

Russians, led by 15-year-old women's singles favourite Kamila Valieva, could easily sweep the other four titles.

Pyeongchang pairs silver medallists Sui Wenjing and Han Cong will look to go one better on home ice.

Papadakis and Cizeron will also bid for their first Olympic gold in ice dance, four years after their wardrobe heartbreak.

WHERE IS IT HAPPENING?

Capital Indoor Stadium, Beijing

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

Figure skating’s Olympic debut was at the Summer Games in 1908 and 1920 before joining the Winter Games from 1924.

WELL FANCY THAT

Women were shut out of global figure skating until 20-year-old Florence “Madge” Syers entered the 1902 world championships. Competing against male skaters, she finished second to Swedish icon Ulrich Salchow. Women were then barred from international competition until a separate women’s event at the 1906 worlds. Syers won that and then the women’s gold at the 1908 Olympics.

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Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Ken Ferris

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