Ice skates have been around for a really long time. An ancient pair of ice skates was found at the bottom of a lake in northern Europe. Scientists estimate the skates may have been worn in about 3000 B.C.

The skates were made from the leg bones of large animals. Holes were drilled on each end of the bone, and skaters used leather straps as laces to tie the skates onto their feet.

In the 14th century, the Dutch invented wooden platform skates with iron runners on the bottom. Much like skiing, skaters would then use poles to push their body weight over the ice.

In the next century, the Dutch added a double-edged blade to the bottom of ice skates, which meant poles were no longer necessary. Skaters could propel themselves by pushing and gliding with their feet.

Until the 17th century, ice skating was mostly used for transportation. Sometime in the 17th century, however, King Charles II saw ice skating in Holland and decided to introduce it to England.

Historians believe that the British used the blades of their skates to make tracings and drawings on the ice. In 1763, England became the site of the first official ice skating competition, as skaters raced across 15 miles of frozen canals.

Historians give credit to an American, Jackson Haines, for making figuring skating what it is today. Haines developed a special skating blade in 1865.

With this new blade, he was able to accomplish new skating moves, jumps and spins. A few years later, Haines added the toe pick to his skates, which allowed skaters to master all sorts of new leaps and jumps.

 

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    • We think it’s AWESOME that you love ice skating and hockey, Mushkale! Thanks for letting us know and thank you for being the first Wonder Friend to leave us a comment on this Wonder of the Day®! :-)

    • Nice job, Eric! The goalie has the best view on the ice and also has a very important job defending the team’s goal! We think it’s SUPER cool (and maybe even chilly :) ) that you enjoy playing hockey with your team! Thanks for sharing today! :)

  1. Do not buy skates with boots that are completely made of vinyl! Wearing vinyl boots is a good way to freeze your feet fast, and they don’t give much ankle support.

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Have you ever wondered…

  • When were ice skates invented?
  • Has ice skating always been a sport?
  • What improvements have been made to ice skates over the years?

Wonder Gallery

Wonder #67- Ice Skate Static ImageVimeo Video

Try It Out

You may not be able to skate on it, but this festive ice ring will make a splash in the punch bowl at your next celebration. Instead of boring, regular ice cubes, try creating your own icy work of art and include goodies in a beautiful ring of ice that floats right in your punch bowl.

Need a good recipe for punch? Here’s one we love:

  • 1 (12 ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed and undiluted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 (1 liter) bottle club soda, chilled

Try this punch with a frozen fruit ring containing frozen raspberries. If you don’t want to make a giant ice ring, you can use an ice tray to create individual ice cubes with a raspberry in each cube. This way each party guest is sure to get a fruity treat. Yummy!

 

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