- Published on 02 March 2015
Figure skating is one the few judged Special Olympics sports. Special Olympics Figure Skating features singles and pairs jumps, lifts and many feats of strength and precision. Ice dancers concentrate on interpreting the rhythm and tempo of music through dance steps on the ice.
Special Olympics athletes can also participate in Figure Skating Ice Dancing and Pairs events. Special Olympics Unified Sports is a program that combines Special Olympics athletes and athletes without intellectual disabilities (partners) on sports teams for training and competition.
A Unified ice dancing or Unified pairs team would consist of one Special Olympics athlete and one partner. Note that for Unified Sports figure skating training and competition, it is preferred that the pair be of similar age; it is required that the pair possess similar skating ability.
As in all Special Olympics sports, athletes are grouped in competition divisions according to ability level, age and gender.
Figure Skating Facts
- Special Olympics Figure Skating was first included in the 1977 Special Olympics World Winter Games.
- The 2001 Special Olympics World Winter Games hosted 160 athletes representing 16 countries in the sport of figure skating.
- Figure Skating was contested at the 2005 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.
- Today107 athletes from MENA Programs compete in figure skating.
Figure Skating Events
- Singles Competitions (Singles Levels 1-6)
- Pair Skating (Pair Levels 1-2)
- Ice Dancing (Levels 1-4; All ice dancing competitions may be skated solo or may be skated by a dance team comprised of two Special Olympics athletes, one male and one female, two females or two males)
- Guest Skater Dance (Levels 1-4)
- Unified Pairs Skating
- Unified Ice Dancing
The following event provides meaningful competition for athletes with lower ability levels:
- Skills Competition (this is not a World Games event, but is intended for local and Program level competition).