Figure Skating Glossary, Ice Skating 101

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The figure skating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics will run from Friday 4th February to Sunday 20th February. We’ve seen some incredible performances and watched athletes do it Nathan Chen (Salt Lake City, Utah) Madison Hubbell (Lansing, Michigan) Zach Donohue (Hartford, Connecticut) and Kamila Valiyeva take the sport of figure skating to a new level.

CONNECTED: Nathan Chen’s 2022 Winter Olympics schedule

Below is a figure skating glossary of some commonly used terms you’re likely to hear throughout the rest of the Beijing Winter Games. Click here for the full figure skating schedule and catch all the action on NBC and Peacock.

CONNECTED: Olympic Winter Games 2022 – TV program, daily overview of the Winter Games in Beijing

Figure Skating Glossary

Axel: A forward-leaning jump invented by Norwegian Axel Paulson in 1882. The Axel is the only jump that skaters take off from a front outside edge. The skater rotates in the air one and a half times—two and a half for a double, and so on—before landing on the back outside edge of the opposite foot from which they jumped.

Camel Turn: The skater rotates on one leg with the free leg extended in the air parallel to the ice.

Combination rotation: The skater changes position while maintaining speed and a continuous rotation (may or may not involve a foot change).

Crossovers: Foot motion in which the skater crosses one foot over the other to gain speed and make turns. This step can be done forwards and backwards.

Death Spiral: A pair spin where the male stands in a spin position as an anchor while holding his partner’s hand as she spins, body stretched low and parallel to the ice around him.

edge jump: In an edge jump, a skater lifts off the leading edge of the skate foot (take-off) without bringing the free foot into contact with the ice to assist the take-off. The three edge jumps are Axel, Loop and Salchow.

Flip: A toe-assisted jump in which the skater lifts off the back inside edge of one foot and lands on the back outside edge of the opposite foot.

Flutz: “Flutz” is an unofficial term for a common mistake skaters make when attempting the lutz jump. A lutz is “fluted” when a skater switches from a back outside edge to an inside edge just before launch.

Flying Spin: A spin with a bouncing entry. For example, in a flying sit spin, the skater jumps up and assumes a seated position at the top of the jump before landing on the ice in a similar seated position and performing a sit spin.

Elevator: One of the most exciting elements in couples and ice dancing involves lifts, in which the female partner is lifted above the male partner’s head. There are different types of elevators, differentiated by the style of entry and the position and hand grips of the couple during the elevator.

Ribbon: A jump in which skaters take off from a back outside edge and land on the same edge of the same foot.

Salzow: Edge jump, named after Swede Ulrich Salchow, ten-time world champion from 1901 to 1911. Skaters take off on the back inside edge of one foot and land on the back outside edge of the opposite foot.

shadow run: Identical movements performed by pair skaters in close proximity.

Seat rotation: A twist performed while seated. Low on the ice, the skater rotates with one leg bent and the other leg extended next to it.

Spiral: A move in which the skater extends their free leg behind them during a long slide to demonstrate both flexibility and fluidity, often incorporated into a program’s choreographic sequence.

Stroke: A maneuver used to gain speed. Skaters slide forward from one inside edge to the other inside edge.

throw jump: A maneuver in pair skating in which the male throws his partner into the air and she unaided lands on a back outside edge.

toe picks: The tooth-like ridge on the front of the blade used for turning and jumping.

Twizzle: This is one of the most recognizable moves in ice dancing. Twizzles are a series of spins on one foot. The skaters perform the spins quickly with a continuous side-by-side motion, preferably close to each other on the ice (without touching). The weight remains on the skating foot with the free foot in any position during the spin.


Stream the Olympics on Peacock to not miss a second of the action this year. Peacock will be the streaming home of the Beijing Winter Games, providing live stream coverage of every single event – that’s over 2,800 hours of Olympic action. In addition to live stream coverage of each event, viewers can also enjoy the opening and closing ceremonies, NBC’s nightly primetime show, full replays of all competitions available immediately upon conclusion, exclusive daily studio programming, medal ceremonies and extensive highlight clips enjoy , and more. Click here to login.


For the second consecutive Winter Games and third overall, NBC will broadcast its Olympic primetime show live in all time zones.

What time does prime time coverage start every night on NBC?

  • Monday – Friday: 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Sunday: 7:00 p.m. ET

CONNECTED: 2022 Winter Olympics Figure Skating Schedule, Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch Online

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