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125 YEARS OF FIGURE SKATING IN RUSSIA

11 February 2021

125 years ago on February 09, 1896 the first annual competition of The World Figure Skating Championship took place in Saint-Petersburg. Only four athletes participated in the championship, but thanks to them the history of world figure skating began in Russia - on the ice rink of the Yusupov Garden in Saint-Petersburg. The garden was very popular among the city residents but only during warm season. There were amusement rides and a shooting gallery on its territory, aeronaut balloons were launched from there. While in winter the garden was closed. That was until 1865, when an ice rink was opened. Here the first Russian figure skaters began to train, and the first official world championship was held here at the end of the century. Competitions were held in only one discipline - single skating. At the turn of the century, the most advanced skating schools were in Austria, Norway, Germany, Sweden and Russia.

Ice skating got a new life after a speed skating society was formed in Saint-Petersburg. With its foundation, the skating rink in the Yusupov Garden became the best in the city. The Yusupov Garden played an important role in the development of Russian figure skating. The championships of Russia and later the USSR were held on its territory. The local figure skating school gave Russia the first Olympic champion - Nikolai Panin-Kolomenkin.