Some biased thoughts from a figure skater on artistic roller skating

Canadian champion Kailah Macri competes at the Pan American Games. She placed 5th.‘- photo and caption from here

I’ve been a figure skater for 17 years, so when I learned that one of the sports competing at these Pan American Games was artistic roller skating — figure skating on wheels, I was told — I had to check it out.

(Apparently, Canadian and World champion Elvis Stojko was thinking the same thing. Stojko, who lives in a small village outside of Guadalajara, was in the stands today to watch the event.)

What can I say about this sport…

Athletically, it is impressive. But I can’t say I really understand why anyone living in a country with ice rinks would bother.

Read more: Some biased thoughts from a figure skater on artistic roller skating

The beauty of figure skating, minus the ice

GUADALAJARA, MEXICO—They look a lot like figure skaters. They’ve got the same sequined dresses, beige tights and slicked-back hair. And they perform many of the same technical elements — axels, Lutzes, camel spins.

But instead of a toe pick on their skates, there’s a rubber stopper; in the place of two blades, there are eight wheels; and in artistic roller skating, when a competitor falls down on a jump, she lands on concrete. Thud. There’s no ice to slide on.

Read more: The beauty of figure skating, minus the ice