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.

TIMELINE

1889

First World Championships

The first World Championships in Speed Skating were held in Amsterdam (NED) for men only

1891

First European Championships

The first European Championships in both Speed Skating and Figure Skating (open to men only) were held at the same time in Hamburg (GER)

1892

First ISU Congress

On July 23rd 1892 the first ISU Congress took place in Scheveningen (NED) which gave birth to the International Skating Union

1893

First ISU World Championships

The first World Championships in Speed Skating (open to men only) directly under the auspices of the ISU were held in Amsterdam (NED)

European Speed Skating & Figure Skating Championships

The European Speed Skating and Figure Skating Championships (for European men skaters only) were hosted together in Berlin (GER)

1896

First World Figure Skating Championships

The first World Figure Skating Championships (open to men only) were organized in St Petersburg (RUS)

1897

First World Championships outside Europe

The first World Championships (in Speed Skating) to be held outside Europe were organized in Montreal (CAN)

1906

First ISU Championships for Ladies

The first ISU Championships for Ladies Figure Skating were organized in Davos (SUI) and became World Championships in 1924

1908

First ISU Pair Skating Championships

The first ISU Championships for Pairs Figure Skating were held in St Petersburg (RUS) and became World Championships in 1924

First winter sport in the Olympic Games

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 in the Olympic Games

Figure Skating (with events for Ladies, Men and Pairs) was included in the Olympic Games held in Antwerp (BEL)

1924

The First Olympic Winter Games

Both Speed Skating and Figure Skating were included in the official program of the first Olympic Winter Games, held in Chamonix (FRA)

1930

First World Figure Skating Championships outside Europe

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

First Ladies Speed Skating World Championships

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

First Ice Dance competition

The first international competition in ice dancing was held in London on the occasion of the World Figure Skating Championships

1952

First Ice Dance World Championships

The first World Championships in Ice Dancing were introduced held at the World Figure Skating Championships s in Paris (FRA)

1970

First ISU Sprint Speed Skating Championships

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

First ISU Junior Speed Skating Championships

The first ISU Junior Speed Skating Championships were held in Assen (NED) and became World Championships in 1974

1976

Ice Dance at the Olympic Winter Games

Ice Dancing was included in the official program for the first time at the Olympic Winter Games that were held in Innsbruck (AUT)

First ISU Junior Figure Skating Championships

The first ISU Junior Figure Skating Championships were held in Megève (FRA) and became World Championships in 1978

1978

First ISU Short Track Speed Skating Championships

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

First ISU Congress outside Europe

The first ISU Congress to be held outside Europe took place in Colorado Springs (USA)

Inauguration of the ISU World Cup Speed Skating Series

The World Cup events series in Speed Skating were inaugurated. Separate circuits were held for Men and Ladies until 1996

1990

First ISU Congress to be held in Oceania

The first ISU Congress to be held in Oceania took place in Christchurch (NZL)

1991

First World Short Track Speed Skating Team Championships

The first World Short Track Speed Skating Team Championships were held in Seoul (KOR)

1992

ISU 100th Anniversary

The International Skating Union celebrates its 100th anniversary

Short Track Speed Skating in the Olympic Winter Games

Short Track Speed Skating was included in the official program of the Olympic Winter Games, held in Albertville (FRA)

1994

First World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships

The first World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships for Men and Ladies were held in Seoul (KOR)

1995

ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series

The Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series and Final were started

World Single Distances Championships in Speed Skating

World Championships in Speed Skating in Single Distances for Men and Ladies were inaugurated in Hamar (NOR)

1997

World Cup series in Short Track Speed Skating

The World Cup series in Short Track Speed Skating for Men and Ladies were launched

Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series

The Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series and Final were created

European Championships in Short Track Speed Skating

European Championships in Short Track Speed Skating were inaugurated in Malmö (SWE)

1999

Four Continents Championships in Figure Skating

The Four Continents Championships in Figure Skating for skaters from North America, Asia and Oceania were inaugurated in Halifax (CAN)

2000

First World Synchronized Skating Championships

The first World Synchronized Skating Championships were held in Minneapolis (USA)

2002

Short Track Speed Skating 1500m races in the Olympic Winter Games

Short Track Speed Skating 1500m races in the Olympic Winter Games

First ISU Congress in Asia

The first ISU Congress to be held in Asia took place in Kyoto (JPN)

2003

New Judging System in Figure Skating

New Judging System tested at Grand Prix of Figure Skating Events for the first time

2004

Team Pursuit Speed Skating

Team Pursuit races in Speed Skating are included in the senior ISU World Cup Speed Skating program

50th ISU Congress

50th ISU Congress held at the Kurhaus Hotel in Scheveningen, The Netherlands, where the ISU was founded in 1892

2006

Team Pursuit Speed Skating in the Olympic Winter Games

Team Pursuit Speed Skating was included in the official program of the Olympic Winter Games, held in Torino (ITA)

2008

First ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating Event

The first ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating Event was held in Inzell, Germany

2009

First ISU World Team Trophy

The first edition of the ISU World Team Trophy 2009 in Tokyo, Japan

2011

ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Team Championships

Last edition of the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Team Championships held in Warsaw (POL)

Mass Start Speed Skating

Mass Start races in Speed Skating are included in the senior ISU World Cup Speed Skating program

2014

Figure Skating Team event in the Olympic Winter Games

The Team event in Figure Skating was included in the official program of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games

2015

Team Sprint Speed Skating

Team Sprint races in Speed Skating are included in the senior ISU World Cup Speed Skating program

2017

ISU 125th Anniversary

The International Skating Union celebrates its 125th anniversary

2018

Mass Start Speed Skating in the Olympic Winter Games

Mass Start made its Olympic debut on the final day of the Speed Skating competitions at the Olympic Winter Games, held in Pyeongchang (KOR)