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2014 Winter Olympics

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Olympic figure skating secret weapons: 3 tricks athletes use to enhance programs

Sticky spray is used by Olympic figure skaters to enhance their performance
Sticky spray is used by Olympic figure skaters to enhance their performance
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Olympic figure skaters look beautiful when they hit the ice. In the Olympic pairs free skating competition on Wednesday, each couple offered a stunning performance to the world as they competed on the Winter Olympics ice. With the athletes working together, the Olympic couples have a few secrets to make their routine flawless. According to KSDK on Wednesday one secret the athletes use is a sticky spray to help hold their grips during elaborate tricks.

It’s always amazing that the routines seen on the ice are so intense. Most of the dramatic portions of any program are put together by two people holding hands or a toss of one partner which is perfectly caught. Apparently the hours of practice is essential, but so is the sticky spray. Sticky enough to bond when the skin touches, but not so strong it will rip clothing. The spray is used by almost all of the pair figure skaters seen on the ice and it’s considered a secret weapon.

So what else do Olympic figure skaters to do enhance their routines? Well there is the little secret surrounding the makeup. While most female figure skaters do wear makeup, it’s not the kind found in department stores. Instead it is the type that is similar to theater productions. Giving fans dramatic colors on their faces, it offers an added touch so people can make out the facial expressions.

Another fashion enhancement includes the costumes the women wear. The glitz on the outfit is quite important and the majority of the crystals are put on the costume by hand. This makes the movement of the fabric even more dramatic when skating on the ice. The bodice of the costume is made to fit tight to the body, but the stones are very fragile. Most costumes costs hundreds, if not thousands of dollars and can’t simply be cleaned in a washer. Not dropped off at a dry cleaner either. Most of the costumes have to go to a specialist who cleans the pieces individually.

Making the performance perfect on the ice means paying attention to the details. Figure skaters review every portion of their program before arriving at the Olympics so it is picture perfect.

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