Like many winter sports, figure skating's roots grew from necessity. As a mode of transportation for warfare and hunting in Northern Europe, skating was a swift way to cross frozen lakes, ponds, rivers and streams.
Warriors and hunters crafted makeshift skates of reindeer antlers or elk bones, and later iron and steel. By the 16th century, skaters were transporting goods across frozen waterways.
In 1892, the International Skating Union (ISU) was founded. Six years later, the first ISU-sanctioned event was held, and organisers hoped it might soon become an official Olympic sport.
Because competitions could be held indoors, figure skating was added to the Olympic programme for the 1908 Summer Games. Figure skating became an official Olympic Winter Games sport at the 1924 Winter Games in Chamonix.
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