2014 Olympic preview: a look into figure skating - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

2014 Olympic preview: a look into figure skating

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - Swizzles and twizzles with a lift or two... Throw in a double axel jump and you'll start to sound like an elite figure skater.

The sport is one of the winter games in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. While skating originated in Europe, analysts expect Team USA to have a decent shot at gold medals this year.

Figure Skating Coach Abby Loeffelholz with the Cedar Valley Figure Skating Club said she anxiously awaits the games, as do her classes full of Olympian hopefuls. Loeffelholz said usually, figure skaters gain a knack for the sport early; many of her beginners are around age six. The sport holds an elite spot in the world of training, as figure skaters practice up to six hours a day, five days a week.

Figure skating and ice dancing may seem related, but actually have their differences.

"Pair skaters typically do a lot more jumps and spins and lifts, and ice dancers do not jump or spin," Loeffelholz said.

She said ice dancing follows much more of a pattern, leaving less room for interpretation than figure skating.

And, speaking of ice dancing, there's Meryl Davis and Charlie White: Team USA ice dancers that could generate a flurry of talk around the Olympic Village. Loeffelholz suspects the pair to be Team USA's best chance to bring home some gold.

Also this year causing a chattering amongst skaters is team figure skating, a new addition to the Winter Games. 

"There will be one male skater, one female skater, one pairs team and one ice dance team that will each perform a short program, and a long program," Loeffelholz said. She along with her skaters-in-training said they are most excited about the new category.

The 2014 Winter Olympics begin Thursday, Feb. 6 with the opening ceremony on Friday, Feb. 7. Stay with KWWL for exclusive Olympic coverage, as NBC will provide over 1,500 hours of the games.
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