What’s it all about?
Ice skating is a hugely popular activity that forms the basis of many sports in the Winter Olympics, including figure skating and speed skating.
Figure skating is a sport and activity in which individuals, duos, or groups perform on figure skates on ice. The four Olympic disciplines are men’s singles, ladies’ singles, pair skating, and ice dancing.
Figure skating today is forever making sporting leaps because it constantly offers new challenges, such as higher jumps and more rotations. With their amazing levels of fitness, agility and artistic talent, top skaters strive to be the world’s best.
Ice dancing is a popular recreational sport as well as a major focal point of international competitions. Like competition-level pairs skating, it is elegant and dazzling, but it does not have the jumps, over-head lifts or extended spins. Ice dancing has different rules and greater emphasis on the way a skater moves to the music.
Speed skating is a competitive form of ice skating in which the competitors race each other in travelling a certain distance on skates. Types of speed skating are long track speed skating, short track speed skating, and marathon speed skating.
Short track speed skating is a lightning-fast, adrenaline-fuelled sport full of unpredictability, where skaters reach speeds of up to 50-kmph on blades 46cm long and only 1mm thick.
It is a highly tactical and physically demanding sport with split-second decision making and race strategy playing a crucial role in racing, where skaters go head-to-head in races of 4 to 6 skaters in a knock-out style of competition.
Long Track speed skating is the equivalent of the running races in athletics – but on ice.
Held on a 400m track it is the fastest a person can go using only their own muscle power without any assistance.
The only ice rink in Kent is in Gillingham. To find out more information about what is on offer, including learn to skate courses, visit their website: