Lausanne, Switzerland


On December 4, 2022, the International Skating Union (ISU) together with a variety of partners, national federations and skating clubs from all over the globe celebrated the first ever World Ice Skating Day (WISD). This inaugural edition was a success with events organized in 47 countries and at 170 ice rinks worldwide. By reuniting thousands of skaters of different levels, ages and social backgrounds, the ISU has achieved the major goal that underline this initiative: making equal access, diversity and inclusion a reality in the ice skating community – a trend to be set not only over a single day but for the years ahead. 

From Australia, to the Philippines, through to South Africa, Peru, and multiple countries in Europe and across North America – to name only a few – the World Ice Skating Day festivities stretched out on all continents with the participation of 47 nations (see all locations here). This geographical richness was echoed by a multiplicity of activities – freely open to everyone - which included: skating lessons for children and beginners, coaching sessions on skills for amateurs as well as skating exhibitions and shows by professional skaters. Music animations, fun games and food trucks all around the rinks contributed in creating a genuine festival atmosphere, which is core to the WISD concept.

Based in the Olympic Capital Lausanne (SUI), the ISU hosted an event in its home city in collaboration with the Vaudoise Aréna, a multipurpose sports center comprising one outdoor and two indoor ice rinks. More than 2000 persons gathered on this special day either to try skating on the ice for the first time, to practice during free initiations supervised by trainers, or simply to watch the exciting demonstrations given by local clubs and teams. All ice skating disciplines – Figure Skating, Speed Skating and Short Track Speed Skating –  were represented, giving an opportunity to familiarize with all of them at the same time. A breathtaking performance by the Swiss Figure Skater and 2017 national Champion Yasmine Yamada also took place and she concluded the day by performing the specially choreographed #WISDance with the local participating clubs. 

While all WISD activations in the world shared a common mission to attract families and young generations on the ice, each of them stood out with their own specificities leading to creative and unique results. One remarkable example is the organization of a Speed Skating lesson in the Himalayas (Ladakh, India) at an altitude of 5602m on a frozen lake – making it the highest ice rink in the world. A group of children from the region were given the opportunity to train with the support of a coach from the Indian Ice Skating Association. In a similarly stunning scenery, another WISD event took place in Manali – state of Himachal Pradesh, India – where kids could take part to entertaining ice skating games and contests. 

In the Philippines, the cities of Manila and Cebu featured some original WISD programs. In particular, they set up the “Hey Coach” campaign allowing skaters to approach any coach wearing a WISD “Hey, Coach” T-shirt for assistance and to get helpful tips on skating techniques.  

The events ended with a “Disco on the ice” open to families and skaters of all ages. 

Across the United States, 35 clubs joined the World Ice Skating movement and offered a wide range of activities along with the support of the US Figure Skating and US Speedskating national federations.

On the side of the WISD institutional partners, the charity organization Inclusive Skating held their World Virtual Championships with a record number of competition entries this year. As for the ice leisure company Planet Ice, acting as WISD Official Partner, they opened to the public all their fourteen rinks across the United Kingdom and hosted over 250 school places on their Skate Excellence Learn to Skate program.

The ISU President, Jae Youl Kim, who joined the celebrations in Lausanne, stated: “We are overwhelmed and delighted by the enthusiasm and involvement of so many locations, national federations and participants in all parts of the world, even those that are not accustomed to practice ice skating sports. This first World Ice Skating Day edition definitely encourages us to strengthen this initiative so as to continue creating a greater sense of community and solidarity, which are key to the future development of our sports”. He further mentions: “I also received encouraging messages from ISU Members, who were amazed by the numerous events shared on social media and the strong sense of belonging they felt as being themselves part of this movement. This type of feedback reminds me why we are here, doing what we are doing”.

Jae Youl Kim WISD 2022

ISU President, Jae Youl Kim, giving a speech during the first World Ice Skating Day edition on December 4th 2022, in Lausanne, Switzerland. @ ISU

Overall, the first World Ice Skating Day was a resounding success. It provided a unique opportunity for ice skating lovers to come together and celebrate their passion of the sport and share the joys of ice skating as much socially than digitally.

As a way to thank the valuable participation and support of WISD organizers around the world, the ISU will reward the “Best World Ice Skating Day 2022” event. To know more about this contest, how to become a candidate and the deadlines to participate, please visit the dedicated webpage here.

In the coming weeks, the ISU will be sharing episodes and highlights of the events that took place worldwide. Stay tuned on the WISD and ISU websites, as well as on our social media accounts. Skate on ! 


About World Ice Skating Day

The World Ice Skating Day presented by the International Skating Union (ISU), is a one-day global festival dedicated to Ice Skating celebrated on the first Sunday of December. The key objectives are to make Ice Skating sports accessible to everyone in a fun and safe environment – for first-timers, amateurs, professionals or retired competitive skaters – by creating a memorable experience for the entire family. The concept of the World Ice Skating Day stemmed from the idea to popularize and share the spirit of Ice Skating worldwide through a celebration with a vision towards development, inclusion and fairness. For further information please visit World Ice Skating Day website.