"Twice as nice, without the ice"
January 23, 2007 6:17 PM Subscribe
The US Figure Skating championships are this week, but though the ice skaters in Spokane and elsewhere get all the press, another group of skaters toil in near-obscurity. Roller figure skaters (also called artistic roller skaters) skate on quad (or sometimes inline) skates, do all the moves that ice skaters do (and even more -- notice the "heel" and "broken ankle" spins in this program, spins that are not possible on ice), and compete, as they have for decades, in local, national, and international events. In 1978, skating was at a peak of popularity and Time magazine wrote "skaters are hoping to be included in the 1988 Olympics"; nearly 30 years later, roller figure skating still hasn't reached the Olympics, some roller skaters like Tara Lipinski have switched to ice to get famous, and the number of clubs and participants in the US have declined precipitously, but dedicated roller figure skaters still spend many hours practicing school figures (on circles painted on the floor), dance, and free skating, for the love of their sport. Want to see more? Skating videos from RollerSportsTV.
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