History

Some key dates in ISU history

The International Skating Union (ISU) was founded in 1892 and is the oldest governing international winter sport federation.

During the last half of the nineteenth century, informal international competitions in both Speed Skating and Figure Skating were organized occasionally in different parts of the world. The first modern Speed Skating competition was held in Norway in 1863 and the first major International Speed Skating race was held in Hamburg (GER) in 1885. In 1882, the first International Figure Skating competition took place in Vienna (AUT).

With the emergence of international competitions, in both Speed Skating and Figure Skating, as well as the forming of skating clubs and of national associations, the need to establish international standards to govern these sports became more and more apparent. In July 1892, the Dutch association took the lead in calling for a meeting of representatives of all countries interested in international ice skating competitions. As a result, the first Congress convened in Scheveningen (NED) and the ISU was created. The fifteen delegates present at the time, all from Europe, began to establish firm rules, laying down the foundations for international competitions in both disciplines. With the addition of Canada as a Member in 1894, the ISU expanded its horizons to become a truly international governing body.

Since the foundation of the ISU the ice skating disciplines have developed steadily over time to occupy the significant role they now enjoy in the world of sport.

1889 The first World Championships in Speed Skating were held in Amsterdam (NED) for men only
1891 The first European Championships in both Speed Skating and Figure Skating (open to men only) were held at the same time in Hamburg (GER)
1893 The first World Championships in Speed Skating (open to men only) directly under the auspices of the ISU were held in Amsterdam (NED)
The European Speed Skating and Figure Skating Championships (for European men skaters only) were hosted together in Berlin (GER)
1896 The first World Figure Skating Championships (open to men only) were organized in St Petersburg (RUS)
1897 The first World Championships (in Speed Skating) to be held outside Europe were organized in Montreal (CAN)
1906 The first ISU Championships for Ladies Figure Skating were organized in Davos (SUI) and became World Championships in 1924
1908 The first ISU Championships for Pairs Figure Skating were held in St Petersburg (RUS) and became World Championships in 1924
Figure Skating (including events for Ladies, Men, Pairs and Special Figures) was the first winter sport to be included in the Olympic Games held in London (GBR)
1920 Figure Skating (with events for Ladies, Men and Pairs) was included in the Olympic Games held in Antwerp (BEL)
1924 Both Speed Skating and Figure Skating were included in the official program of the first Olympic Winter Games, held in Chamonix (FRA)
1930 The first World Figure Skating Championships to be held outside Europe, which included all three events together (Men, Ladies and Pairs), were held in New York City (USA)
1936 The first Speed Skating World Championships for Ladies were held in Stockholm (SWE) but would not become an Olympic competition for another twenty-four years
1950 The first international competition in ice dancing was held in London on the occasion of the World Figure Skating Championships
1952 The first World Championships in Ice Dancing were introduced held at the World Figure Skating Championships s in Paris (FRA)
1970 The first ISU Sprint Speed Skating Championships for Men and Ladies were inaugurated held in West Allis (USA) and became World Championships in 1972
1973 The first ISU Junior Speed Skating Championships were held in Assen (NED) and became World Championships in 1974
1976 Ice Dancing was included in the official program for the first time at the Winter Olympic Winter Games that were held in Innsbruck (AUT)
The first ISU Junior Figure Skating Championships were held in Megève (FRA) and became World Championships in 1978
1978 The first ISU Short Track Speed Skating Championships, for Men and Ladies, were held in Solihull (GBR) and became World Championships in 1981s in 1981
1984 The first ISU Congress to be held outside Europe took place in Colorado Springs (USA)
The World Cup events series in Speed Skating were inaugurated. Separate circuits were held for Men and Ladies until 1996
1990 The first ISU Congress to be held in Oceania took place in Christchurch (NZL)
1991 The first World Short Track Speed Skating Team Championships were held in Seoul (KOR)
1992 Short Track Speed Skating was included in the official program of the Olympic Winter Games, held in Albertville (FRA)
1994 The first World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships for Men and Ladies were held in Seoul (KOR)
1995/6 The Grand Prix of Figure Skating series Series and Final were started
World Championships in Speed Skating in Single Distances for Men and Ladies were inaugurated in Hamar (NOR)
1997 The World Cup series in Short Track Speed Skating for Men and Ladies were launched
The Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series and Final were created
European Championships in Short Track Speed Skating were inaugurated in Malmö (SWE)
1999 The Four Continents Championships in Figure Skating for skaters from North America, Asia and Oceania were inaugurated in Halifax (CAN)
2000 The first World Synchronized Skating Championships were held in Minneapolis (USA)
2002 The first ISU Congress to be held in Asia took place in Kyoto (JPN)
2003 New Judging System tested at Grand Prix of Figure Skating Events for the first time
2004 50th ISU Congress held at the Kurhaus Hotel in Scheveningen, The Netherlands, where the ISU was founded in 1892
2006 Team Pursuit Speed Skating was included in the official program of the Olympic Winter Games, held in Torino (ITA)
2008 The first ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating Event was held in Inzell, Germany
2009 The first edition of the ISU World Team Trophy 2009 in Tokyo, Japan
2010 100th Edition of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships, held in Torino (ITA)

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