Figure skating is one of the more physically demanding sports on the planet, but its participants sure make it look effortless. Watching a skater glide, jump, and spin around the rink is truly a phenomenal sight – not to mention the soothing sound of blades against the ice.
According to Olympic.org, the Dutch were the first to test out figure skating, reportedly using it as a method to get from village to village when the rivers froze over. It was officially introduced to the Olympics in 1908, making it the oldest sport of the Winter Olympics.
Since that point, figure skating has evolved tremendously. Synchronized skating, which involves a team of skaters moving as one unit, was introduced in the 1950s and quickly took off thanks to North America’s interest in the sport.
Much like figure skating, synchronized skating requires tremendous skill and discipline – especially because the success of the routine relies on perfect performances from every individual. Below, the Russian Synchronized Skating Team takes the ice and performs a wondrous routine set to Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” It’s simply incredible.