A little bit of history: Ice skating crosses cultures, languages ​​and continents

03/02/2017

Ice skating arises in times when the man in his obsession to cross the frozen lakes and streams during the winter season, tied to his feet bones and in that way slid through them.

In the seventeenth century ice skating began as a kind of ballet on ice, in the aristocracy of Holland sought elegance and perfection, and began to synchronize the steps, jumps and other movements.

At the time of the American Civil War ice skating reached its peak until then, so much so that the first skating club was created in December 1849 in Philadelphia. One of the most important personages of that time was the American Jackson Haines, a totally revolutionary skater with his movements and expressions, but who did not have popularity because his way of skating went against the rigid and rigorous style of the time. For this reason he settled in Europe where he achieved success.

Jackson Haines in in 1864. The inventor of ice skating
Jackson Haines in in 1864. The inventor of ice skating

In 1921 the USFSA (United Status Figure Skating Association) was created with the aim of spreading skating and promoting its growth throughout the nation. At that time it was discussed whether skating should be considered as a sports discipline or as a dance, even though ice skating was considered an Olympic sport in 1908. Finally in 1924 it was included in the Olympic Winter Games held in France, Chamonix.

One of the most outstanding figures was the Norwegian skater Sonja Henie who won 10 world championships (from 1927 to 1936) and 3 Olympic medals (1928, 1932 and 1936).

Sonja Henie greeting Adolf Hitler after achieving her 3rd gold medal at the 1936 Olympics in Garmisch-Paternkirchen
Sonja Henie greeting Adolf Hitler after achieving her 3rd gold medal at the 1936 Olympics in Garmisch-Paternkirchen

Over time, the skating was evolving, for example with the appearance of choreographers who are responsible for selecting the themes and make the movements more synchronized and harmonious with music. Nowadays it is a much more competitive sport. The last to take figure skating to a higher level is Javier Fernandez, Olympic, world, European and Spanish champion ... the maximum expression of the degree of perfection that the human being is able to achieve on ice.

Javier Fernández in 2018
Javier Fernández in 2018

Almost 400 years separate the first skaters from Javier Fernández. The number of ice rinks in the world has been multiplied year after year, century after century causing the birth of other sports on ice such as hockey, curling and speed skating. 

But of course, not everything is sport. Millions of people in the world have fun on ice every day of the year, be it natural, artificial or synthetic ice ... as a pastime and fun in family, among friends ... Technological advances have made it possible to bring ice rinks to urban centers with warm environmental temperatures, allowing temporary events with outdoor Christmas and thus allowing thousands and thousands of children to make their first steps on ice. The ice rink crosses cultures, languages ​​and continents. It is one of the very few leisure sports that can be celebrated as a family in which you can see an interesting mix between little children and grandparents who want to remember old times. We from Napapiri, are proud to contribute our grain of rice to the evolution of this type of fun that wherever we go, we only see happy people having a good time with their loved ones.

A lovely family having a great time on an ice rink in Barcelona
A lovely family having a great time on an ice rink in Barcelona