This year has been full of challenges and hardships, leaving many of us thinking about what the future holds for the world of figure skating. With closures and cancellations of schools, events, and public facilities across the nation, we’re left wondering what the status of the sport is amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. How has COVID-19 impacted the figure skating industry so far? More specifically, will the pandemic change the dynamic and structure of figure skating teams and events going forward?
At Riedell, we are committed to keeping you up-to-date on the latest industry news, trends, and current events impacting the skating world. We hope this information provides you with some insight into what the future of figure skating may look like, as well as how the industry has been impacted because of the pandemic.
How Has Figure Skating Been Impacted by COVID-19?
When COVID-19 was declared a worldwide health pandemic, no one truly knew what to expect. Events, skating rinks, and club practices began to close or were canceled during March, and while we hoped it would only last for a short time, it became uncertain how long we would have to adhere to these new rules and guidelines. While it is extremely important that we keep our athletes, coaches, families, and others safe during this time, it’s also stressful not knowing when athletes can train or safely get back on the ice.
U.S. Figure Skating has been keeping those of us in the figure skating community updated with the latest news regarding COVID-19. They have a list of events that have been canceled due to the virus, as well as guidelines for how to safely open rinks and clubs back up for our athletes.
Here are a few of the guidelines for rinks to follow when preparing to reopen:
- Review your state and local government’s current business reopening guidelines.
- Adhere to local department of health guidelines concerning food service.
- Put together a rehiring plan if you furloughed or laid off employees during the pandemic.
- Update personal protective equipment (PPE) policies and procedures.
- Identify high-traffic areas that need to be sanitized frequently.
These are only a small portion of the guidelines U.S. Figure Skating has put in place for rinks. You may find additional precautions necessary, depending on your rink and 2020 skating plans.
What Does Figure Skating in 2020 Look Like?
While we are in the middle of reopening rinks and getting back on the ice, we can’t help but wonder what the future of figure skating will be like. How might coronavirus change the industry and sport we love? How can athletes get back to training safely with their coaches or teams?
U.S. Figure Skating has also created an approach for athletes, coaches, and teams to return to skating programs and disciplines. To prioritize safety, the organization recommends a staged approach to reopening. These guidelines and advice are put in place in the hopes of a safe and responsible return to the sport. The most important aspects to know and understand are the basics of being safe, as well as what your local rink’s guidelines are.
Although we may not know what the future will hold, it’s safe to say that many sports have been impacted deeply by the pandemic—and the practices, rules, and procedures in place before all of this are likely going to be altered. Things like washing our hands more frequently, staying a safe distance away, and avoiding crowded places will probably be with us for some time. So what does this mean for future competitions and skating events? We remain optimistic, but it’s hard to say.
The future of skating may very well involve fewer spectators and fans in the stands watching competitions. Visitors at rinks may be required to wear masks and physically distance themselves from others. Coaches may use video training for dryland practices and exercises that don’t require the ice. Whatever the future of figure skating looks like, the passion for the sport that lives in our athletes, coaches, rinks, and skating community is everlasting.
Our Riedell Promise
Here at Riedell, we don’t know what the future will look like, but we can guarantee our commitment to skaters everywhere by making the highest-quality figure skates on the market. Whether you’re ready to get back on the ice with a fresh new pair of custom skates or you’re looking for figure skating resources while awaiting a safe return to the rink, we’ve got your back. We know the sport of figure skating will prevail, and we can’t wait to see things safely back up and running. If you have any questions about our figure skates or authorized dealer locations that are currently open, contact us today to learn more.