Figure skating is entertainment. The skaters are artistic and perform some very gymnastic moves on the ice. They are, indeed, athletic.
But figure skating isn’t a sport.
I have a hard time accepting as sport any activity determined solely on the subjectivity of a panel of judges. Sport is when points scored by action – touchdowns, baskets, goals, runs or sets – or when someone does something faster, farther, longer, higher or as decided by other subjective criteria.
For instance, I didn’t know until recently that a skater can be penalized if (s)he doesn’t finish a routine in time with the music. Yeah! If a skater is still spinning when the music is over – points off!
Marks are also given – or deducted – for CHOREOGRAPHY and ARTISTIC INTERPRETATION!
Imagine if quarterbacks were given or penalized yards for a pass that is or isn’t a perfect spiral.
Suppose an NBA dunk rattles the rim just a little too much or a hockey or soccer goal bangs off the post instead of hitting the back of the net?
Does a home run count less if it’s hit down the line rather than straight center field?
If Usain Bolt crosses the finish line first (and he will), but with a shoe untied, is he docked a place?
Yeah, the same sport-of-opinion applies to diving, gymnastics, “free style” events and a lot of the “X Games.” But there is an additional element to figure skating that shoves it right out of sport and into entertainment.
COSTUMES! Sequins, feathers, man cleavage, lace! AAARRRGGGHHHH!
There are Academy Awards for costumes. None for ERA or hammer throws, but yes for COSTUMES.
I don’t question the athletic abilities of figure skaters. What they do requires strength, coordination and stamina – all necessary to athletes of any sport. But these attributes alone don’t qualify the activity as “a sport.” After all, strength, coordination and stamina are necessary in a lot of occupations from trash collection to porn star.