Ice Skating: A slide on the ice

Smooth as glass. The cool air whips across the cheeks of the skater who glides across the smooth surface of the rink. There is nothing to stop the slide of the skater.

People across the ages have enjoyed the exhilarating flight across the frozen surface of water. For hundreds of years skaters were only able to enjoy the delight in the winter. It's only been recently that skating has become a year-round sport.

Ice Skating has taken the form of figure skating, speed skating and hockey.

The earliest evidence of ice skating was found among Roman ruins in London and dates back to 50 B.C. Excavations of the ruins uncovered leather soles and blades made of polished animal bones. About 1100 A.D. people in Scandinavia wore skates made of deer or elk bones strapped to their boots with leather. These early skates were used for transportation. Recreational skating may have begun in the 1100s in Britain.

Iron blades were first used in the Netherlands about 1250. Steel blades on wooden soles apparently were first used about 1400. These skates were lighter than iron skates and made skating easier.

In 1850, E.W. Bushnell of Philadelphia produced the first all-steel skates. These skates were light and strong and kept their edges sharper.

The introduction of steel skates greatly increased the popularity of the sport and soon clubs opened their doors across the nation.

Skating clubs, private and public rinks now afford anyone an opportunity to participate.

From beginner to expert, anyone who desires can strap a set of lace-up boots on their feet and go for a glide.


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