10 Unlawful Determine-Skating Strikes You Will not See on the Olympics


Nathan Chen performs a backflip in the Gala Exhibition of the 2021 ISU World Figure Skating Championships

On this age of quad jumps and mind-boggling partner lifts, it might look like there’s nothing determine skaters cannot do on the ice. It seems that is not fairly true — though it isn’t as a result of the skaters themselves aren’t succesful. The Worldwide Skating Union (ISU) has made a number of strikes explicitly illegal apparently as a consequence of security considerations, with a two-point penalty deduction if a skater performs an unlawful transfer in competitors. So whilst you would possibly watch in awe as skaters full backflips and “headbanger” spins in exhibitions, you possible will not be seeing them on the Olympics any time quickly.

However that hasn’t stopped some athletes. Probably the most well-known instance is Surya Bonaly, a French determine skater finest identified for being the first woman to attempt a quad jump on the Olympics in 1992. Bonaly did not cease pushing the boundaries there. On the 1998 Olympics, Bonaly entered her free skate understanding she was already out of medal rivalry. It was her final Olympics, and he or she determined to depart a mark by doing a backflip the center of her routine — understanding full properly it was unlawful and would price her factors.

“Folks had been simply loopy about it. Besides the judges,” Bonaly recalled within the 2019 Netflix docuseries “Losers.” A former gymnast, Bonaly might even land a backflip on one skate.

Whereas the backflip is among the better-known unlawful strikes, the ISU lists a number of others. In pairs and singles determine skating, the next are unlawful in competitors:

  • Somersault-like jumps: this consists of backflips, tuck jumps, and different jumps the place your legs go over your head.
  • Lifts with “fallacious holds”: in pairs, skaters are solely allowed to do holds which are hand handy, hand to arm, hand to physique, or hand to higher leg. Some other kind of maintain (together with “headbanger” hand-to-foot spins, defined under) is illegitimate.

In ice dance, the next are unlawful:

  • Sitting on the associate’s head
  • Standing on the associate’s shoulder
  • Lifting associate in an upside-down cut up publish
  • The “headbanger,” or bounce spin: on this transfer, one associate swings the opposite by holding on to only their legs or skates with totally prolonged arms. That is often performed whereas the lifting associate spins round, transferring the lifted associate up and down as they spin.
  • Lifting associate swings the lifted associate with out utilizing their fingers, with the lifted associate holding on with simply their ft or legs across the lifting associate’s neck
  • Lifting associate holds the lifted associate above the top with prolonged arms: such a maintain is allowed in pairs, however not in ice dance.
  • Jumps or throw jumps with a couple of revolution: that is the primary issue separating ice dance from pairs determine skating — in ice dance, the skaters aren’t allowed to do jumps besides when getting into or exiting a transfer.
  • Mendacity on the ice

When you will not be seeing these strikes on the Beijing Olympics, they’re usually carried out throughout ice reveals. 2022 Olympic champion Nathan Chen has even been identified to interrupt out a backflip during gala exhibitions, and you must marvel if his coach is as nervous as us watching it. Look, we belief him — it is a man who can land five quads in a program and barely break a sweat. However there is a cause these strikes are banned, and ice is slippery — so watch out on the market, OK, Nathan? And it goes with out saying, however we would not advocate attempting these methods at your native mall rink, both. We mere mortals ought to most likely concentrate on simply staying upright.


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