Where Are the Good Scandinavian Figure Skaters?

Today’s Olympinomics post was inspired by Keith Law, who asked “why are there no good figure skaters from Scandinavia?”

Scandinavian countries tend to be quite good at most winter sports, which is no surprise given their climate; however, no Scandinavian athlete has won a figure skating medal since 1936.

Why is this? Read more at Olympics-Reference Blog.

2 Responses “Where Are the Good Scandinavian Figure Skaters?”

  1. cliff says:

    The same reason you get sprinters from Jamaica more so than decathletes. Figure skating is driven by big time coaching from an early age. That either takes a heavily subsidized central governemnt situation (U. S. S. R. and China, for example) or a wealthy society (U. S., Canada, Western European countries).

    Scandinavian countries are hung up on people “not being ahead of other people” financially. So, unless their government throws in money, they don’t have a shot.

  2. Bjorn says:

    i think one important reason is that Ice hockey started to become popular (at least in sweden) in the post WW2 era and that figure skaters found it more and more difficult to gain access to ice time.

    I know today competition for access to rinks is very hard in most places in sweden and that figure scaters usually end up “out in the cold” so to speak.