15 Olympic figure skaters past and present
To run the rink, you have to have it all: grace, strength and a lot of determination. While it’s not easy being an athlete competing in the Olympics, there’s something special about skaters’ ability to make their incredibly difficult sport seem literally effortless. They glide smoothly backwards, forwards and in all directions in between, as if not balancing on two sharp blades. It’s all really impressive, and these athletes deserve Major accessories.
Over the years, there have been stars who have helped define the sport, like Peggy Fleming, as well as recent upstarts, like Adam Rippon and Gracie Gold, who are inspiring a new generation. There’s a reason figure skating is the oldest winter sport in the Olympics: it’s fun for athletes and fans from all countries and all ages.
It’s not all sparkly suits and triple axes, though. Figure skating has had its fair share of sport-shattering scandals and tragedies that have rocked the ice. From the violent rivalry that went awry between Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan to a plane crash that killed the entire 1961 American team, skaters are no strangers to dealing with the most shocking events.
Despite it all, these award-winning athletes overcame the odds and anchored themselves in Olympic history. From the first Asian American to win gold at the Winter Games to the youngest winner of an individual event, these names are nothing short of inspiring. Find out here everything you always wanted to know about your favorite skaters.