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Mao Asada of Japan performs during the Ladies Free Skating competition at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Jeonju, south of Seoul, January 29, 2010.     REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak (SOUTH KOREA - Tags: SPORT FIGURE SKATING)
Mao Asada of Japan performs during the Ladies Free Skating competition at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Jeonju, south of Seoul, January 29, 2010. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak (SOUTH KOREA - Tags: SPORT FIGURE SKATING)

THE EVENTS
The Olympic figure skating competition consists of four medal events: ladies' singles, men's singles, pairs, and ice dancing

SINGLES AND PAIRS
The singles and pairs events consist of two portions: the short program and the free skate.

Short program: The short program consists of eight required elements performed in any sequence.

Free skate: The free skate gives the skater the opportunity to express his or her individual style and to highlight his or her strengths, while skating within the guidelines of what the International Skating Union considers a "well-balanced program."

 PROGRAM LENGTH

Short Program Free Skate 
Men
max 2:50  4:20-4:40
Ladies
max 2:50 3:50-4:10
 Pairs  max 2:50  4:30-4:40

 

ICE DANCING
There are three phases of competition in ice dancing: the compulsory dance, the original dance and the free dance.

Compulsory dance: Prior to the first official practice session at the 2010 Games, the compulsory dance to be performed will be drawn. The compulsory dance involves the skating of prescribed patterns to music, the rhythm and tempo of which are defined.

Original dance: A couple skates a dance of its own creation to dance music it has selected for the designated rhythm, which in Vancouver will be a Folk/Country Dance. The dance must reflect the character of the prescribed rhythm while demonstrating technical skill, flow and use of edges. The original dance typically yields some of the best (or worst) costumes of the Games.

Free dance: A couple skates a creative program with dance steps and movements expressing the character of the music they have chosen. while skating within the guidelines of what the International Skating Union considers a "well-balanced program."

 PROGRAM LENGTH

Compulsory Dance
Original Dance  Free Dance
Dance
varies  2:20-2:40  3:50-4:10

 

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