Did you know that figure skating was a summer Olympics event? It certainly was, as bizarre as it sounds, and it wasn’t as a one off event either. Over the following two summer Olympics, figure skating was an event.
Today when you mention figure skating, summer Olympics is pretty much the furthest sport from your thought. I mean, winter Olympics, sure, but summer? Ice is hardly abundant during the warmest period of the year, so why have it? But in all fairness, they were held in London, which is relatively cold even during the warmer months of the year. For instance, it’s not exactly a tropical climate.
Figure skating as a summer Olympics event began during the 1908 London Olympics. During the early days of the games they weren’t exactly as big, or as organized as they are today. Very few sports were included, and they ran for a considerable period of time. To try and expand on the sporting repertoire, the London organizers decided to include Figure Skating during the summer Olympics in 1908. They were held at the former ice rink, Prince’s Skating Club. But it wasn’t a huge event. Only few people actively participated.
During its first outing as an event, very few athletes even participated. In fact, for two of the events, only three competitors actually participated. They’re the kinds of odds I like, and at least they would have won a medal of some description.
This marked the first time that figure skating was at an Olympic event. The winter Olympics was still another 16 years off, so in the mean time they were part of the summer Olympics, appearing again in 1912 and 1920 (WWI prevented the Olympics in 1916).