The World Figure Skating Championships is an annual figure skating competition sanctioned by the International Skating Union. Medals are awarded in the categories of men’s singles, ladies’ singles, pair skating, and ice dance. Generally held in March, the World Championships are considered the most prestigious of the ISU Figure Skating Championships. With the exception of the Olympic title, a world title is considered to be the highest competitive achievement in figure skating.
The Internationale Eislauf-Vereinigung formed in 1892 to govern international competition in speed and figure skating. The first championship, known as the Championship of the Internationale Eislauf-Vereingung, was held in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in 1896. There were four competitors and the winner of the event was Gilbert Fuchs.
The championships were presumed all-male since competitive skating was generally viewed as a male sport. However, there were no specific rules regarding the gender of competitors. In 1902, Madge Syers entered the championships, and won the silver medal. The 1903 ISU Congress considered gender issues, but passed no new rules. The 1905 ISU Congress established a second-class ladies’ competition called the ISU Championships, rather than the World Championships. Men’s and ladies’ events were normally held separately.
In the early years, judges were invited by the host country and were often native. At the 1927 ladies’ event in Oslo, Norway, three of the five judges were Norwegian; these three judges gave first place to Norwegian competitor Sonja Henie, while the Austrian and German judges placed defending champion Herma Szabo first. The controversial result stood, giving Henie her first world title, but the controversy led to the ISU introducing a new rule that allowed no more than one judge per country on the panel.
Eligibility and qualifying
Skaters may compete at the World Championships if they represent a member nation of the International Skating Union and are selected by their federation. Pairs and ice dance partnerships composed of skaters of different nationalities are not allowed to compete under two flags; they are required to choose one country and obtain the other country’s permission.
Member nations select their entries according to their own criteria. Some countries rely on the results of their national championships while others have more varied criteria, which may include success at certain international events or specific technical requirements. All of the selected skaters must meet the ISU’s age and TES requirements.
World Figure Skating Championships Online Info
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