Generally, when we think of the terms “sports” or “athletes” we tend to associate them with ideas of burly men and women with ripped and muscular bodies who train at an extreme, intense pace.
While this is not untrue, it is not completely accurate either. Unlike many other sports, figure skating requires athleticism, endurance, agility, and stamina of traditional sports, with the added element of grace.
This is perhaps why some individuals refer to figure skating as an art form, as well as a sport. Men and women need to demonstrate incredibly high levels of strength and balance made to look easy and effortless, while never missing a beat or step in their routine. It is their ability to exert such athleticism and look beautiful while doing so, that makes the sport so mesmerizing.
For 20 stunning pictures of female figure skaters keep on reading.
20 Gabrielle Daleman
Canadian figure skater Gabrielle Daleman attended both the 2014 and 2018 Olympic Winter Games and earned a gold medal in team skate event. Though she has never won gold in women’s single skating, she’d definitely earn a gold medal if selfies were an Olympic event!
19 Yuna Kim
Yuna Kim’s face may look familiar— not because of its fresh-faced look, but because she was chosen to light the Olympic Cauldron at the 2018 Winter Olympics in her home country of South Korea. Kim is so well-loved in South Korea that she is referred to as “Queen Yuna.”
18 Tara Lipinski
Tara Lipinski, along with her former partner Johnny Weir are one of the most iconic and memorable figure skating duos in the history of American skating. Though they have both hung up their skates, Lipinski continues to hold onto her notoriety through her presence in the figure skating commentating world.
17 Adelina Sotnikova
Figure skater Adelina Sotnikova defied all odds and expectations when she took home the gold medal at the 2014 Olympic Games, outskating her own teammate, and expected winner, Yulia Lipnitskaya. However, since 2015 Sotnikova has taken a long break from competitive skating with plans to return in 2019.
16 Yulia Lipnitskaya
Tiny but mighty Yulia Lipnitskaya made a splash at the 2014 Olympic Games, held in her home country of Russia. Lipnitskaya, was only 15 years old then yet earned a gold medal for Russia in the team skate. Her time in the sport was short though, announcing her retirement in 2017.
15 Bradie Tennell
American figure skater Bradie Tennell may only be 21 years old but has managed to reach a significant accomplishment that usually takes years of work for most athletes to achieve. At the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, Tennell earned a bronze medal in team skate.
14 Mirai Nagasu
American figure skater Mirai Nagasu began skating at the age of five. She eventually went on to become a two time Olympian, participating in the 2010 and 2018 Winter Olympics, winning only a bronze medal for team skate in the 2018 games.
13 Diana Nikitina
Hailing from Latvia, young skater Diana Nikitina has only attended the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. The 19-year-old athlete has plenty of time to hone her craft and show off her skills at many more Olympic Games and other future worldwide skating competitions.
12 Kaetlyn Osmond
Retired Canadian Olympian Kaetlyn Osmond may have only taken part in the 2014 and 2018 games, but somehow managed to collect one gold, silver, and bronze medal. Sadly, in May of 2019 Osmond announced her retirement. According to Skate Canada, she is one of Canada’s most decorated female singles skaters.
11 Kailani Craine
Australian-born Kailani Craine is one of the most surprising and refreshing faces in figure skating, considering Australia is the least-likely location to produce an Olympic figure skater. Despite Craine making her Olympic debut in Pyeongchang, rather than bringing home a medal, she left in the light of the spotlight.
10 Vanessa James
Canadian Vanessa James is attracting plenty of attention in the world of skating, not just because of her beauty, but because of her rise to skating stardom. She has not yet participated in any Olympic Games but is working on getting there, as reported by cbc.ca.
9 Kristi Yamaguchi
While Kristi Yamaguchi is one of the most famous names in the figure skating game with a gold medal from the 1992 Winter Olympics, she is as beautiful on the inside as on the outside. Though she no longer skates competitively she keeps herself busy with her philanthropic work.
8 Miki Ando
Though Japanese-born skater Miki Ando has attended the 2006 and 2010 Olympic Games and come up empty-handed each time, she is still a very accomplished and decorated skater—even permanently relocating to the United States in 2005 to fully harness and work on her talent.
7 Maé-Bérénice Méité
French figure skater Maé Méité has attended both the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympic Games with no luck in bringing home any medals. But the art of figure skating very much extends past the ice, as you can see in these very artistic snaps Méité shared on her social media.
6 Ashley Wagner
Though Ashley Wagner being born in Germany she skated as a representative of the United States, bringing home a bronze medal for team skate in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Despite her success in figure skating, she announced her official retirement from the sport in 2019.
5 Maia Shibutani
Along with her brother Alex, Maia Shibutani makes up one half of the Shibutani sibling skating duo. While she may look sweet and sincere, Shibutani is nothing short of a warrior when she hits the ice. The American skater won two bronze medals at the 2018 Olympic Games.
4 Joannie Rochette
Canadian beauty Joannie Rochette is an incredibly accomplished and decorated figure skater, medaling in events like the World Championships, Skate Canada International, and the Trophée Cachemire. Not to mention she is a two time Olympian, winning a bronze medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
3 Surya Bonaly
Retired French figure skater Surya Bonaly is one of the boldest women in the sport's history. Not only is Bonaly a three-time Olympian, but is quite famous for her daring and rebellious flare she contributed, as she was the first woman to a full backflip, landing on a single blade.
2 Tessa Virtue
Ever since winning a gold medal with her partner Scott Moir at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, the world has witnessed the beauty of Virtue’s on-ice talent. And anyone with a set of decent eyes can clearly see that her beauty extends way beyond the ice as well.
1 Gracie Gold
American figure skater Gracie Gold captured the entire world’s attention (and Taylor Swift’s) when she skated on behalf of team USA in the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. And from the looks of it, her name is representative of the type of skating she brings to the table—gold.
Sources: Teenvogue.com, Olympic.org, Yabai.com, Olympic.ca, Olympics.nbcsports.com, Eonline.com, Teamusa.org, Usatoday.com, Vice.com, Gazettereview.com, Cbc.ca, Time.com, Skatecanada.ca, Olympics.com.au