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She corrects herself a moment later.

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Has that ever been seriously discussed as a rule change? I asked. The overdetermined femininity of figure skating has, of course, been subject to a low, steady rumble of criticism.

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The Protopopovs were a husband and wife duo of Russian pairs skaters who were known for their balletic style. Their win in is credited as starting the longest winning streak for a country in Winter Olympics history, with 12 consecutive gold medals won by Soviet and Russian pairs skaters over a span of 42 years.

They skated well into their 70s and trained for hours each day. Canada's Patrick Chan is on the minds of many after capturing the gold medal in the skating team event at the Pyeongchang Olympics, where he placed first in the men's free portion, but his work extends beyond that. The three-time world champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist returned to competition after a year hiatus, and he has set world records for his short and free skating programs. American Peggy Fleming was one of the most prominent women in figure skating, particularly after her win at the Olympic games in Grenoble, where she won the only gold for the U.

When Fleming was 12, her coach and the rest of the United States figure skating team were killed in a plane crash on the way to the World Championships. She made her Olympic debut at an astonishingly young 11 years old and had to ask her coach mid-routine what to do next in between moves, but after a last-place finish that year, she became unstoppable.

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With 10 straight World Championships under her belt a record that has not been broken to this day , she was a figure skating star. By Alexandra Whittaker Feb 13, pm. Pin ellipsis More. Let's glide through, shall we? Image zoom. Replay gallery. Madison Chock is an ice dancer partnered with Evan Bates, returning to her second Olympics. They placed eighth at the games in Sochi. The pair train in Michigan. Alex Shibutani, 26, and his younger sister, Maia Shibutani, 23, are competing in their second Olympics, having competed in the games in Sochi, where they finished 9th.

Meanwhile, Asian Americans represent about 5. One factor could be that the skating rinks and training centers are in places like the San Francisco Bay Area and Detroit where the pool of talent is more diverse, she said. Torrey Sun, who is a biracial Chinese American, competed in the s when figure skating wasn't very diverse. Sun says what's happening in figure skating could reflect diversity in general in the US. Audrey Weisiger, a Chinese-American former figure skater and now coach theorizes that a combination of factors can lead to success for Asian-American figure skaters, including a smaller physical frame.

Weisinger said when she looked at the world champion men's medal podium, she noticed that they were around the same size.

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These Olympic figure skaters will blow your mind. But being lighter has its drawbacks too, making them susceptible to injuries, she added.

In addition to the physical demands of the sport, the support and resources for a budding ice skater is also critical. This characteristic isn't unique to Asian Americans, but Weisiger said she has noticed very dedicated Asian-American parents and heard a lot of stories about hard-working, immigrant parents who sacrifice for their children's training.

And figure skating can be a very expensive sport. US Olympic hopeful focused on Pyeongchang And then after the coach left, she would continue training me, continue going over all those little things and she would ask the coach what specific things to work on, things that I could improve on. She made a lot of games out of it and she just made me find my passion for skating at a young age," he said. Regardless of ethnicity or background, skaters say it's also about the mentality. Another factor is representation. I think unknowingly as a young athlete coming up, had a connection with her," Yamaguchi said. Many of the young Asian-American skaters credit Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan as role models who showed what's possible. This year could be historic for Asian-American males if Nathan Chen or Vincent Zhou medal in the men's singles competition.