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Olympic Figure Skating; Singles
In the Olympics, figure skating is by far the most graceful sport; some people even call it “ballet on ice.” It involves cool music, exciting costumes, and lots of cool moves that take years: and years of practice. There are nine judges that assess the competitors, but it is drawn which ones will actually take part in the final score. In each segment there are new judge representatives drawn to make the competition fair. The singles athletes compete in two segments: the short program, and the free-skate which has to be at least four minutes long. In these events the competitors are condemned based on three things: creativity, innovative moves, and their technical difficulty. All of the judges need to pay very close attention, to get a good idea of what they are going to score them. Sometimes they even have to refer back to a television screen, which shows particular parts of the skaters’ performance in slow-motion. Although figure skating looks easy, and seems so effortless, it is extremely hard, and it takes years just to learn the basics.
Before the Olympics, the athletes have to train, usually for most of their previous lives. They work on jumps, spins, and other technical things. One of my favorite jumps is called the axel. An axel is one of the only jumps when you begin skating forward and you end skating backwards. You make either one, two, or three revolutions and then one-half of one, and you have to jump high in the air. One of my other favorite tricks is called the sit-spin. A sit-spin is when you start spinning upward and then you gradually move into the sitting position, on one leg with your free leg extended. Olympians customarily train for three hours per day all year round, and they choose their own choreographers: to make their routines. A really good figure skater will video themselves while they practice, and re-play it in slow motion, kind of like their judges, and pick out all of their mistakes and perfect them. This is a very good strategy for figure skaters, since they get evaluated on every move they make.
This year in the Olympics, there was a man named Evan Lysacek who won the gold medal for the men’s singles. Evan got started figure skating in a surprising way. When he was six or seven, his grandmother unexpectedly bought him a brand new pair of un-used figure skates, so he decided to try them out. He loved figure skating so much; he followed his new dream, and become a famous figure skater. To me Evan is really inspiring, and I want to become a famous figure skater also.
Another world-famous figure skater's name is Kim Yu-Na. Kim is from Korea, and she also won a gold medal this Olympics, with a flawless performance in every program. She got her inspiration to be a figure skater when she was very young also. She was skating at a small arena, and doing tricks that she made up. A young man then went up to Kim's mother, and told her, her little girl "had talent." After, her mom got Kim figure skating lessons, and she also followed her new dream, and became a skater too. Being a figure skater is a lot of fun, but you have to work very hard, in order to follow your dreams.
Article posted March 9, 2010 at 08:06 AM •
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