Feb 6, 2014; Sochi, RUSSIA; Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov (RUS) perform in the figure skating team pairs short program during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Iceberg Skating Palace. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Sochi Winter Olympics: How does Figure Skating work?


One of the more popular and well known events at the Winter Olympics happens to be one of the painstakingly complicated ones. Thankfully, we weeded through all the complexity and present Figure Skating in the most simple form possible.

Free Skate:  Performed as both a team and as individual competitions, free skate sees a single skater perform a short program, which is around two minutes of routines that are graded on a very technical scale. That leads into the Free Skate which is around four minutes and needs to be as arty and flamboyant (jumps, spins, ect) as it is technically sound.

Pairs: The same rules apply to the Pairs competitions, only two skaters perform this together. The biggest thing to watch here is how well the pair mirrors each others moves as the judges go nuts when that happens.

Ice Dancing: This means that you can use vocals in the music you choose. It also means that you have to adhere to a stricter code when it comes to the level of creativity you can you. As long as you don’t stray away from the traditional dances that go with the type of music you have, you should be fine. Also expect a lot of facial expressions from the skaters, as the emotion of the music needs to be conveyed to the judges in such a way.

Team: This is where the best individual skaters, Ice Dancing and the best skating pairs from a given country combine their skills in one giant competition orgy of figure skating glory with all the points getting added up as though it was a giant group project.

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Tags: 2014 Sochi Olympics