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Figure Skating’s Governing Body Proposes Age Increase to 17

A push is gaining momentum for increasing the minimum age for figure skating.

figure skating age increase to age17

With the recent Olympics in Pyeongchang, Russia, a push is gaining momentum for increasing the minimum age for figure skating. Younger skaters deserve the limelight, but increasing the age limit could lead to more young girls waiting their turn to compete in the Olympics. Some young women can already land quadruple jumps, although they become harder as they grow and develop. The last woman to land a quadruple jump was aged nine.

A new rule is pending a vote by the International Skating Union. The governing body wants to phase in the change before the 2026 Olympics. It will hold its first vote on the proposal in Thailand in June. If passed, it would mean teenagers are no longer eligible to compete in senior figure skating competitions. The International Skating Union has proposed that the minimum age be increased from sixteen to seventeen by 2024.

But there are a number of factors to be considered. The sport has long struggled to balance the athleticism and artistic performances, and raising the age minimum is necessary for a balanced program. Currently, competitors must be 16 or older in the year before the Olympics. And boxers must be 18 to compete in the Olympics. However, there are some positive aspects to the proposal. The Norwegian Skating Federation is supporting it.

Recent history shows that teenagers have won the World Championship, Olympic title, and Olympic gold medals at a young age. In addition, the minimum age has been lowered to 15 in recent years as Russian female skaters have won several prestigious trophies under the age of 17.

The International Skating Union has long advocated raising the minimum age for figure skating. Its latest proposal is the highest-profile of these efforts. The ISU will discuss the issue of raising the minimum age limit at its Congress in 2022 in Phuket, Thailand. The debate will continue until then. For now, the ISU will consider the proposal. The new rule could be implemented before the next Olympics in 2024. It could help to prevent the emergence of new drug-free athletes.

The new age limit comes after the controversial case of Elena Valieva. The Russian skater was an early gold medal favorite in Beijing but was disqualified after a doping test. She competed in the Beijing Olympics anyway and finished fourth in the free program. Her coach Eteri Tutberidze criticized her at rink-side. IOC President Thomas Bach cited Valieva’s case and suggested that international sports federations should consider raising the minimum age for athletes to compete at the senior level. In Pyeongchang, gold medalist Anna Shcherbakova was also just 17 years old.

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