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People Are Just Discovering Figure-Skating Backflips Are Illegal

Lucy Devine

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| Last updated 

People Are Just Discovering Figure-Skating Backflips Are Illegal

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

With the Winter Olympics in full swing, the world has witnessed some incredible figure skating, with spectacular lifts and jaw-dropping jumps.

But did you know that some moves are actually illegal on the ice?

Yup, the International Skating Union (ISU) has made a number of moves illegal, for safety reasons, and if competitors do happen to perform a move, they'll unfortunately be deducted two points.

Some moves are illegal on the ice (Credit: Shutterstock)
Some moves are illegal on the ice (Credit: Shutterstock)

In figure skating, somersault jumps - for example backflips, or jumps which involve your legs going over your head - are banned, as well as lifts that aren't hand to hand, hand to arm, or hand to body.

Meanwhile in ice dance, other illegal moves include sitting on a partner's head; standing on a partner's shoulders; the headbanger - which involves a skater being picked up by the ankle and spun around by their partner - and lying on the ice.

Some athletes have attempted the moves over the years, for example, French figure skater Surya Bonaly, who attempted a quad jump at the 1992 Olympics. She later went on to do a backflip in the middle of the 1998 Olympics.

You can watch a clip below:

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“I wanted to do something to please the crowd, not the judges,” she said afterwards, according to the Miami Herald.

“The judges are not pleased no matter what I do, and I knew I couldn’t go forward anyway, because everybody was skating so good.”

Speaking about it years later, Surya told the Root: “That was my last Olympics, and pretty much my last competition ever. I wanted to leave a trademark.”

Did you know that some moves are actually illegal on the ice? (Credit: Shutterstock)
Did you know that some moves are actually illegal on the ice? (Credit: Shutterstock)

People are still shocked that the backflip is actually illegal in figure skating, with one person writing on Twitter: "Holy sh*t the backflip was illegal in skating which makes Surya Bonaly that much more of a badass and icon."

While another said: "Iconic! She was really the one and should have recognised for her excellence at the Olympics."

You can hear more about Surya's incredible story in Netflix doc, Losers.

Topics: Life, News

Lucy Devine
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