Best Figure Skaters
Figure skating is a sport in which individuals, mixed pairs, or groups of skaters perform figure skates on ice. It was the first winter sport inducted in the Olympics in 1908, and the four Olympic disciplines are men’s singles, ladies’ singles, pair skating and ice dancing. International figure skating judgment and competitions such as the Winter Olympics, the World Championships, the World Junior Championships, the European Championships and the Four Continents Championships are regulated by the International Skating Union since it was founded in 1892 in Scheveningen, Netherlands. In the archaeological record, primitive ice skates appear from 3000 BC, and the first modern skating tournament the European Championships was inaugurated in Hamburg, Germany in 1891. There are many famous figure skaters who achieved a great height of success as the other star athletes do, so here is the list of 10 best figure skaters in the world.
10 Best Figure Skaters in the World
1. Ulrich Salchow
Former Swedish figure skater Ulrich Salchow was born on 7 August 1877 and was a dominant force in Figure Skating in the first decade of the 20th century. He won the World Figure Skating Championships ten times in two spells which were five consecutive times from 1901 to 1905, and again five consecutive times from 1907 to 1911. Salchow still holds the world record of winning the World Figure Skating Championships ten times, which he shares with Sonja Henie. He also won the gold medal in the event when figure skating was first introduced in international level and was contested at the 1908 Summer Olympic Games in London. Besides winning the world championship ten times, he also reached the second place three times. Salchow achieved the European Championships a record nine times from 1898 to 1913. This legendary skater died on 19 April 1949.
2. Sonja Henie
Former Norwegian figure skater Sonja Henie was born on 8th April, 1912 and proved herself as the dominant force of Figure Skating in 1930s. She won the World Figure Skating Championships a record consecutive ten times from 1927 to 1936 which is still an unbeaten record in professional level of figure skating. Henie won the gold medal at the figure skating event in Olympic Championship three times in 1928, 1932 and 1936. She also won the European Champion a record six-time from 1931 to 1936. Henie won the Norwegian Championships a record seven times from 1923 to 1929. Besides her active figure skating career, she also pursued her acting career in Hollywood and became one of the highest paid actresses. Henie was inducted in the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1976, and also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
3. Karl Schäfer
Former Austrian figure skater and swimmer Karl Schäfer was born on 17 May 1909 and was the star of the 1943 movie “Der weißeTraum” or The White Dream. He won the World Figure Skating Championships seven times from 1930 to 1936. Schäfer won the gold medal at the figure skating event in Olympic Championship two times in 1932 Winter Olympics and in the 1936 Winter Olympics. He also won the European Championship a record consecutive eight times from 1929 to 1936. Schäfer achieved the title of Austrian Championship seven times which includes a consecutive six-time winning streak from 1929 to 1934. Besides figure skating, he also competed in the 200 metrebreakstroke at the 1928 Summer Olympics. To honor his contribution to the event of figure skating, a figure skating competition The Karl Schäfer Memorial was named after him and was held in Vienna from 1974 to 2008.
4. Carol Heiss
Former American figure skater and actress Carol Heiss was born on January 20, 1940 and started skating at the age of just 6. She first participated in and achieved the silver medal at the figure skating event in 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d’Ampezzo and then obtained the gold medal in 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley. Heiss reached the World Figure Skating Championships five times from 1956 to 1960. She won the title of North American Championships twice in her active career in 1957 and 1959. Heiss gained the title of U.S. Championships consecutive four times from 1957 to 1960. Besides her international figure skating career, she played the female lead in the 1961 film Snow White and the Three Stooges. This legendary figure skater has also featured in international publications such as Life magazine.
5. Dick Button
Former American figure skater Dick Button was born on July 18, 1929 and was also a well-known long-time skating television analyst. He won the gold medal at the figure skating event twice in Winter Olympic Games in 1948 Winter Olympics St. Moritz and in 1952 Winter Olympics Oslo. Button achieved the title of Men’s Singles event at World Championships a consecutive five times from 1948 to 1952. He obtained the title of U.S. Championships a consecutive seven times from 1946 to 1952. Button won the title of North American Championships three times in 1947, 1949 and 1951. He also gained the title of European Championships in 1948. Button was the first skater to land a double axel and a triple jump or triple loop. He is also the inventor of the flying camel spin which was named after him and known as the Button Camel.
6. Herma Szabo
Former Austrian singles and pairs figure skater Herma Szabo was born on February 22, 1902 and is considered as one of the most decorated figure skaters of all time. She is one of four women to win the World title five times along with Sonja Henie, Carol Heiss and Michelle Kwan. She won the gold medal at the figure skating event in first Winter Olympics at Chamonix in 1924. Szabo achieved the title of Ladies Singles event at World Championships a consecutive five times from 1922 to 1926 and achieved the title of the Pairs event twice in 1925 and 1927. She achieved the title of the Austrian Championships five times which includes a spell of consecutive four times from 1922 to 1925 and also achieved the pair titles twice consecutively in 1925 and 1926. This legendary figure skater died on May 7, 1986.
7. Scott Hamilton
Retired American figure skater Scott Hamilton was born on August 28, 1958 and began training with a former Olympic champion Pierre Brunet at the age of just 13. He was famous for pleasing the crowd with his signature move backflip which a very few skater could perform and was banned in Olympic competition and USFSA. Hamilton won the gold medal at the figure skating event in 1984 Winter Olympics at Yugoslavia and also won the NHK Trophy in 1983. He achieved the title of World Championships four times consecutively from 1981 to 1984. Hamilton won the title of U.S. Championships four times consecutively from 1981 to 1984. He won the title of Skate America three times which included twice consecutive wins in 1982 and 1983. Hamilton received the Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Award in 1996.
8. Kurt Browning
Retired Canadian figure skater, choreographer and commentator Kurt Browning was born on June 18, 1966 and was honored with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2001. He achieved the title of World Championships four times which includes three times consecutive wins from 1989 to 1991. Browning won the title of Canadian National Championship four times from 1989 to 1991 and again in 1993. He gained the title of Figure Skating at Goodwill Games in 1991, TrophéeÉricBompard in 1992 and Bofrost Cup on Ice in 1991. Browning obtained the title of Skate Canada three times in 1989, 1991 and 1994. Browning was inducted into the Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 and into the Canada’s Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2000. Besides his figure skating career, he appeared in the 2006 Fox television program skating with Celebrities.
9. Katarina Witt
Retired German figure skater Katarina Witt was born on 3 December 1965 and widely considered as one of the most successful figure skaters of all time. Katarina won the gold medal at the figure skating event in 1984 Winter Olympics at Yugoslavia and 1988 Winter Olympics at Calgary. She won the title of European Championships six consecutive times from 1983 to 1988, a feat only equaled by Sonja Henie among female skaters. She won the title of East Germany Figure Skating National Championship a record consecutive eight times from 1981 to 1988. Katarina won the title of World Figure Skating Championship four times in two spells from 1984 to 1988. She achieved the title of Skate Canada International in 1984 and won the NHK Trophy three times in 1983, 1987 and 1988.
10. Michelle Kwan
Retired American figure skater Michelle Kwan was born on July 7, 1980 and is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history. Michelle won the gold medal at the Grand Prix of Figure Skating in 1996. She achieved the title of World Figure Skating Championship five times in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2003. She also obtained the title of United States Figure Skating Championship a record nine times which also includes a spell of eight consecutive title achievements from 1998 to 2005. Michelle won the title of Skate America seven times in two spells from 1996 to 1998 and again from 2000 to 2003. She became the winner of Goodwill Games in 1998 and won the TrophéeÉricBompard in 1997. Besides her active figure skating career, she was named a “celebrity representative” and spokeswoman for the Walt Disney Company in 2002.
Other notable mentions as the best figure skaters of all time are Gillis Grafström with 3 gold medals and 1 silver medal in winter Olympics, EvgeniPlushenko with 2 gold medals and 2 silver medals in winter Olympics and Scott Allen who won the bronze medal at Winter Olympics at the age of just 14 years 363 days.
so how was our ranking of Best Figure Skaters. ?