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Historic move: Figure Skating minimum age raised to 17



In a historic move, figure ice skating has raised the minimum age to 17 for senior competitions

The International Skating Union has raised the minimum age from 15 to 17 for senior ice skating competitions, coming into effect for the 2024-2025 season.

In total, 100 countries backed the move, and just 16 opposed it. Rounds of applause filled the room as the decision was announced.

The ISU says the decision has been on the table for years but concerns over adolescent athletes’ well-being have cemented it into action.

“This is very important decision, I would say a very historic decision.”

ISU President Jan Dijkema

The medical advice given to the sporting body said that raising the age limit would ‘benefit the athletes both mentally and physically.’

“I feel as administrators of the sport of skating it is your moral obligation and duty to provide these young skaters with the opportunity and time to develop the skills they require in order to be successful at the senior level,”

Dr. Jane Moran from the body’s medical commission

It follows a drug scandal at the Beijing Winter Olympics drugs involving 15-year-old Russian figure skater, Kamila Valieva.

Valieva failed a pre-Games drugs test, with the global spotlight on the adolescent and the lengths she was willing to go to.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by HOW HWEE YOUNG/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (12806945lo) Kamila Valieva of Russia reacts before the Women’s Short Program of the Figure Skating events at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games, Beijing, China, 15 February 2022. Figure Skating – Beijing 2022 Olympic Games, China – 15 Feb 2022

Before the vote, the ISU director-general Fredi Schmid encouraged countries to enforce the change saying “the moment of truth is obviously today because the credibility of the ISU will also be scrutinised”.

“The life of an athlete is short and intense, their experience in this short phase sets the platform for the rest of their lives — physically, spiritually emotionally,” said the Canadian, who won a pairs gold at the 2018 Olympics.

“While I hear the concerns of certain nations about the immediate difficulty that they might face with this proposal being passed … is a medal really worth the life of a young athlete?”


The countries that opposed the move argue that raising the age will negatively impact athletes’ ability to reach elite levels.

But countries including Ireland counter these arguments saying “they are children first and athletes second,”

Holly is an anchor and reporter at Ticker. She's experienced in live reporting, and has previously covered the Covid-19 pandemic on-location. She's passionate about telling stories in business, climate and health.


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Cristiano Ronaldo has played his last Man Utd game



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