Trivia

Hard

Which Sport No Longer Includes The Component It Was Literally Named After?

Fencing
Figure Skating
Baseball
Shotput
A pair of white figure skates.
Dr.frog/Wikimedia

Answer: Figure Skating

Sit down to watch a modern figure skating competition and you’ll be treated to feats of athletic endurance and coordination all wrapped up in a veil of modern dance and choreography. One thing you won’t see is the skaters repeating monotonous shapes on the ice over and over again.

Yet if you attended a figure skating competition prior to the 1990s, that’s exactly what you would have seen for the first portion of the competition: extremely focused skaters recreating intricate figures, known as “compulsory figures” on the ice over and over again. Figure skating used to be predominantly (and quite literally) about carving figures into the ice with skates. Although it was terribly boring for the skaters, judges, and audiences alike, it did show how tightly the skater could control their form.

As the public became more interested in figure skating and competitions appeared in broadcast line-ups, the tedious figure-creation portion of the competitions was dropped in favor of the longer modern-dance inspired routines we now see at national and international events.

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