History of Women in




Figure Skating

Before 1800

300 A.D.- The first ice skates were used for transportation purposes; they were made out of wood, bone and antlers.


1532- Iron blades were developed for the use of skates.


1850- Steel blades were created. And by using steel, turns were performed more easily.


1865- A ballet dancer from America introduced the combination of dancing on ice. He was also the man who first created the all-in-one, blade and shoe.


1875- A gymnasium was added to the opening of Wellesley College for exercise. And a lake was added in addition for ice skating.


1892- A group called the International Skating United was developed.


1902- Madge Syers, a female from Britain, placed second in the all-male division, which eventually opened the door to many other female skaters.


1906- Madge Syers was the first woman World Figure Skating Champion. She held onto her title in 1907 as well.


1908- The Olympic Games in London, England featured both men's and women's singles and doubles.


1908- Madge Syers was named the first female Olympic Figure Skating Gold Medalist, while competing at the London Games.


1921- The United States Figure Skating Association was developed.


1924- For the first Winter Olympic Games held in Chamonix, France, figure skating was the only event for women.


1928- Sonja Henie won three gold medals in figure skating at the Olympics. She won 1,500 medals and trophies before she retired in 1936.


1953- Tenley Albright was the first American woman to win an Olympic Gold Medal in figure skating.


1960- Carol Heiss was the first woman to perform a double jump in women's figure skating at the Winter Games in Squaw Valley, CA.


1982- Katarina Witt won the first six consecutive European Figure Skating Championships.


1984- Dorothy Hamill won her first World Professional Figure Skating Championship. She had three more that would follow.


1986- Debi Thomas was the first African American woman to win the U.S. Figure Skating Singles Championship.


1998- Tara Lapinski, only fifteen years old, was the youngest female to ever win an Olympic Gold Medal in figure skating.


2001- Michelle Kwan, was three-time world champion. She won her fourth straight U.S. Figure Skating Championship while competing in Boston in 2001.


2002- During the Olympics in Salt Lake City, the broadcasts for the figure skating events had the highest rating in television history.


2002- Sarah Hughes, only sixteen years old at the time, won her first gold medal at the Olympics. Although Sarah was in fourth after he short program, she completed an almost perfect free skate. Her routine included seven triple jumps, five in combination, which in the end she received the gold. Irina Slutskaya from Russia won the silver and Michelle Kwan took the bronze.


2002- Michelle Kwan is named the Nation's Top Amateur Athlete. She earned the Sullivan Award.


2003- Michelle Kwan won her sixth straight and seventh overall U.S. National Figure Skating title.


2003- American figure skater, Sasha Cohen earned her first major international title at the Grand Prix Finals in Russia. She beat reigning world champion Irina Slutskaya.


2003- Michelle Kwan won first at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Atlanta, which led to her seventh straight national title and eighth overall.


2005- The World Figure Skating Mueseum and Hall of Fame inducted Catherine Machado. She was the first Hispanic figure skater to represent the United States at the Olympic Winter Games.


2005- Michelle Kwan won her ninth title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.


2005- The Figure Skating Channel became the first-ever broadband figure skating channel.


2005- Sasha Cohen wins the 2005 Campbell's International Figure Skating Classic.


2006- Megan Hyatt, fifteen years old, won the U.S. Figure Skating Championship Junior Women's Title.


2006- Sasha Cohen won the women's U.S. Figure Skating Championships.


2006- Kimmie Meissner won the gold at the World Figure Skating Championships, Fumie Suguri took the silver and Sasha Cohen won bronze.


2006- As of the 2006 Olympic Games, figure skating has become the world's most popular sport to watch.


2006- After Michelle Kwan dropped out of the 2006 Olympics, an alternate Emily Hughes took her place. Emily's older sister, Sarah won the gold over Michelle in the 2002 Olympic Games and competed in the games at Torino.


2006- Shizuka Arakawa from Japan won gold in Women's Figure Skating. She was the first athlete at the 2006 games to win a medal for her home country.


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