ISU Votes to Raise Minimum Competition Age to 17
This article entitled “Figure skating minimum age raised to ‘historic’ decision ahead of 2026 Olympics,” published by NBC News via Reuters on June 7, 2022, covers the intentions behind the new International Skating Union (ISU) legislation. In response to the recent controversy surrounding Kamila Valieva at the Beijing Winter Olympics, the ISU voted to gradually raise the minimum competition age for senior figure skaters from 15 to 17. Passing 100 votes to 16 with two abstentions, these new policies aim to support young athletes while prioritizing their physical and mental health. As ISU Athletes Commission member, Eric Radford puts it, these changes seek to ensure that the rigorous nature of an athlete’s career “sets the platform for the rest of their lives – physically, spiritually and emotionally.” Despite overwhelming acceptance, select delegates rebuked this new rule, arguing it would disproportionately impact smaller nations with fewer skaters.
A change of pace for the ISU, we will be keeping a close eye on how these evolving policies impact competitive skating in the coming years.