Watching beautiful ice skaters perfect their moves on ice is something I have always loved. Ice skating is not just a sport, it is like a form of art when a couple ice skating on the rink, perform some of the most impossible and creative feats. Traveling on a sheet of ice with the help of skates and gliding through with perfect poise, needs more than just concentration or practice. Apart from technique, an ice skater needs to develop grace to give a professional touch to the entire act. While some do it as a leisure activity, for others, it is a profession. This activity can be done in the outdoors on frozen water bodies or even indoors, at specially prepared ice rinks.
A Peek into its Past
Seen now from a very professional point of view, it was an important means of transportation in the earlier days. This method was used when people needed to travel across frozen water bodies in the winter season. Although there is no concrete proof about the origin of this sport, historians believe that the earliest known instances date back to 3000 B.C. This is based on the evidence found in Switzerland when a pair of skates were retrieved from the bottom of a lake.
The creation of the first ice skates is also under debate. Historians believe the first pair may have been invented between 3000 and 1000 B.C. However, the ice skates made then are a far cry from the sophisticated versions seen today. The technology then was simple. The blade of the ice skate was made from the bones of animals. These bones were attached or tied to the bottom side of the shoes. Some historians also give credit to the Dutch for the invention of ice skates. It is believed, sometime during the 14th century, the Dutch attached wooden platforms to ones shoes and leather straps secured these wooden parts carefully. A few years later, a double edged metal blade replaced the wooden part. This helped the skaters to keep their balance while skating, which further popularized this sport.
As this sport became extremely popular, it remained only for the privileged few in most areas. Soon the royal families began to love this sport for the sheer excitement. In the Netherlands, people from all classes came together to attempt ice skating. Evidences seen in many visual depictions reveal the many Kings wearing a pair of ice skates. In 1610, Emperor Rudolph hosted a large ice carnival in his court as he thoroughly enjoyed this sport and wanted other people to attempt the same.
Ice skating has developed into superior forms. The presence of many international competitions being held worldwide stand testimony to this fact. Talented professionals who spend years perfecting their moves gather to compete under one roof. Truly, the beauty of ice skating cannot be ignored.