The gracious movements of figure skaters always attract big crowds at the FISU World University Games. Lots of excitement builds up in the arena when the skaters perform the most difficult spins and jumps. Traditionally, the competition ends with a Skating Gala with all medallists performing once more to entertain the cheering fans.
FISU Technical Committee Chair
History of Figure and Synchronized Skating in FISU
Figure Skating is a popular on-ice sport, which was included step by step into the world student competition. After the success of the World University Championships in 1951, 1953 and 1956, the first figure skating competitions for men and women at the FISU World University Games took place during the first Winter Universiade in Chamonix, France, in 1960. It comprised men’s and women’s individual events. Among the 6 men and 7 women participating in the event, the winners were as follows: Men: Gold– Alain Calmat (France) | Silver – Nobuo Sato (Japan) | Bronze – Heinrich Podhaisky (Austria). Women: Gold – Jitka Hlavacková (Czechoslovakia) | Silver – Eva Grozajová (Czechoslovakia) | Bronze – Helga Zollner (Hungary).
Thanks to its good cooperation with the International Skating Union (ISU), FISU closely follows the evolution of the sport to develop its competition programme. As such, for the 2007 Winter Universiade in Torino, Italy, FISU included Synchronized Skating for mixed teams (men and women) into the programme as a demonstration sport. 8 teams participated with each team comprised of 16 athletes. Nowadays pairs skating and synchronized skating are optional events in the figure skating programme. Former medallists participating in the FISU Games include Olympic and world stars such as: Irina Slutskaya (RUS), Zhang & Zhang (CHN) and Shen & Zhao (CHN). Another important individual in the history of figure skating in FISU is Dagmar Rehakova (CZE) who participated three times in the Winter Universiade, winning the gold medal twice and the silver medal once. In 1962 she became the Chair of the Technical Committee for Figure Skating with her last Winter Universiade being Torino 2007.