Is There an Age Limit to Compete in Olympic Figure Skating?

The 2022 Winter Olympics are finally here. Oddly enough, it feels like the Summer Olympics just took place after they got moved from 2020 to 2021, which caused the Olympic Games to be held in back-to-back years.

The Opening Ceremony kicked things off in Beijing on Friday, February 4, and the festivities began. The athletes train all year, all their lives, to get a shot at holding up an Olympic medal.

One of the most popular of the Winter Games is figure skating, and this sport is full of young athletes, questioning if there is an age limit for this sport.

Is there an age limit for Olympic figure skating?

Figure skating is one of the most popular events in the Winter Games. So, is there an age limit?

The answer is yes. According to the official ISU website, the Olympics don’t have an age limit, but the age restriction varies by sport.

For figure skating, the age limit is 15 years old. They must be 15 by July 1, the year before the Olympic Games.

So, to be eligible as a figure skater in the 2022 Games, they must be 15 by July 1, 2021, to participate in the games. According to Amanda Prahl of Pop Sugar Fitness, the age of 15 is one of the more common ages for the Games.

Bobsleigh, cross-country skiing, freestyle skiing, luge, snowboarding, and several other winter sports all require athletes to be 15 or older in order to compete on the senior level at international competitions. Figure skating also requires senior competitors to have turned 15 by July 1, prior to the start of the season. 

Pop Sugar Fitness

If you see a lot of young faces in figure skating, this is why.

The ISU considered changing the minimum age to 17 years old

The 2022 Beijing Olympic Games begin on Friday.
Interior view of the National Speed Skating Oval, also known as the ‘Ice Ribbon| Liu Lu/VCG via Getty Images

Over the years, the International Skating Union has tried to change the age limit and raise it to 17. However, in 2018, the proposal was taken off the board, according to Nick Zaccardi of NBC Sports.

A proposal to increase figure skating’s age minimum from 15 to 17 years old at major events like the Olympics was taken off the International Skating Union’s agenda at its biennial congress this week because it didn’t have sufficient support.

NBC Sports

This change ultimately didn’t come to fruition in 2018, and it has yet to happen as the 2022 games kick off. So, the age limit for this year’s games will remain 15 years old.

Back in the Pyeongchang Games in 2018, 15-year-old Alina Zagitova took home the gold medal. In the 2014 Games, 15-year-old Yulia Lipnitskaya won gold in a team event.

Will another young skater capture a gold medal?

The Olympic Games begin and figure skating is always one of the best sports to watch

When the Olympic Games officially begin, one of the most buzz-worthy athletes will be Nathan Chen. Chen is out for revenge after a disappointing performance in the 2018 Games, and the US team, in general, has a ton of talent.

After four years of waiting, the countries are ready to compete in Beijing and bring home a gold medal for their respective countries.

Millions tune in for the Olympic Games everywhere from across the globe, and this year’s festivities will be no different.

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