Guide to Figure Skating Jumps

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The Olympics are like a holiday around our house, and I said to Dave this morning, “I guess for the next two weeks, my life is going to be all about my workouts and watching the Olympics.”

Seems pretty great, right?!

In preparation for the figure skating — which I love unabashedly — I found this article on The Wire that attempts to demystify the different jumps the ice skaters will be doing in their routines. Turns out all leaps and spins are not created equal!

My biggest take-away is that the axel is a big deal because it’s the only jump that begins with the skaters facing forward, thus requiring them to include an extra half rotation in their spin. But I’m still studying the gifs to be able to identify the difference between a take off that starts with the toe pick versus a take off that begins with a push from an edge.

I remain in awe of these people who fling themselves around the ice — with grace, speed, and spangles — while wearing razor blades strapped to their feet. Read A GIF Guide to Figure Skaters’ Jumps.


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  • You are hilarious! I am also obsessed with the Olympics…I’ve been humming the anthem (the one that NBC plays when coverage starts) “don, don, don, don, don, don, don” for the last two weeks! The summer games are my favorite, but I will definitely be staying up late to watch the figure skaters…and the speed skaters! They amaze me!

    • Mel says:

      Now I have the theme stuck in my head, too. Thanks for that 🙂

      YES! Speed skating, cross country skiing, ski jump… love it all. We’re probably moving to Vermont this year, and I’m excited about snow sports in my future.

  • Heather says:

    Come on up to Vermont! We would love to have you! It’s snowing like crazy as I type this. We’ve gotten about 6 inches so far today!