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On Walkabout At: The World Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame

Basic Information

  • What: World Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame
  • Where: Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Fee: Adults $5, Children 6-12 $3, Under 6 is free
  • Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10am-4pm (Except for major holidays)
  • More Information: World Figure Skating Museum website

Picture from the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame

Narrative

My daughter liked watching the figure skating during the recent Sochi Winter Olympics so I decided to take her over to the World Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame here in Colorado Springs.  The reaction I get from people that live here in the Springs that I went to the Figure Skating Hall of Fame is, where is that at?  Few people who live here know that this Hall of Fame is even located within the city.  I knew it was located in the Springs simply because I drive to North Cheyenne Canon so much that I would always see the sign near the Broadmoor Hotel pointing towards the Hall of Fame.  The easiest way to get to the Hall of Fame is to exit I-25 at Circle Drive and drive West until Circle turns into Lake Ave.  Just continue to follow Lake towards the Broadmoor and look for the sign that says to turn right on to 2nd St. right before the Broadmoor to access the World Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame:

Here is a view of the World Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame from the front parking lot:

Picture from the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame

I am assuming the place must have had a recent name change because the sign out front still calls it the US Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame.  Anyway inside we paid our small admission fee and then entered first into the Hall of Fame which is located in a walled off area in the middle of the museum:

Picture from the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame

Within the Hall of Fame they have sign boards that explains the history of everyone inducted.  There are two different inductions one is for World Hall of Fame and the other is for the US Hall of Fame.  For example one of the Americans inducted into the US Hall of Fame was Nancy Kerrigan:

Picture from the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame

It is hard to believe that her whole drama with Tonya Harding happened 20 years ago. However, she was not inducted into the World Hall of Fame.  A complete list of the World Hall of Fame can be seen at this link.  The Hall of Fame also had a number of items on display to include Scott Hamilton’s figure skating outfit from when he won the gold medal in the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics:

Picture from the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame

Here is a picture of Hamilton during the Olympics:

Here are Hamilton’s gold medals that he had won on display:

Picture from the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame

There was also the outfit on display that Kristi Yamaguchi wore when she won gold at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France:

Picture from the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame

Here is a picture of Yamaguchi skating in the outfit during the Olympics:

The Hall of Fame also had the outfit wore by Tara Lipinski on display as well:

Picture from the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame

Lipinski wore this outfit when she won the gold medal for women’s figure skating at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan:

From the Hall of Fame section we then walked over to check out the museum that literally surrounds the walled off Hall of Fame area.  The museum had what you would expect a lot of skating memorabilia and outfits wore by US skaters:

Picture from the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame

Some of the memorabilia was quite old such as these items from the 1928 Winter Olympic Games in St. Moritz, Switzerland:

Picture from the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame

Here is even older memorabilia from the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium when figure skating was included as part of the summer games:

Picture from the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame

Here was another outfit I found of interest which was what Michelle Kwan wore when she won the Bronze Medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City:

Picture from the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame

Though Kwan never won an Olympic Gold she is arguably the greatest female American figure skater of all-time.  However, that is not what had me interested in this outfit; what amazed me was the price.  According to the display these figure skating outfits cost anywhere from $8,000 – $50,000!  This one wore by Kwan was designed by Vera Wang:

Picture from the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame

In fact even though Vera Wang is not a figure skater she is enshrined in the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame because of how many champion skaters have wore her outfits.

Something else I learned from the museum was about the tragedy of the 1961 US figure skating team.  Sabena Flight 548 was a Boeing 707 aircraft that crashed en route to Brussels, Belgium, from New York City on February 15, 1961, killing the entire U.S. figure skating team on its way to the World Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia.  The museum has a nice display detailing and remembering this tragedy:

Picture from the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame

Something else I found of interest were the bones on display that are believed to be the first ice skates that people used back in the 8th Century in Northern Europe:

Picture from the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame

The museum had plenty of more early ice skates from around the world on display as well:

Picture from the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame

The museum has two levels, so after finishing checking out the first level we took the elevator down to basement to see what was there.  On the basement level it was pretty much dedicated to holding all the various championship trophies won by US figure skating teams over the years:

Picture from the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame

It also had this small display that showed some of the figure skating inspired toys that have been developed over the years:

Picture from the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame

The basement level also had a lot of artwork on display to include one that honored the 1572 Battle of Ij:

Picture from the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame

This was a battle between Spanish and Dutch troops which is the only known war to have had battles fought on ice skates.  Dutch troops wearing ice skates were able to surprise Spanish troops on the other side of various rivers in the Netherlands during the war.  In response to this new tactic the Spanish commander ordered ice skates for his own men, but they were never able to match the skill of the Dutch skaters during the war.  Here is an illustration of Dutch ice skaters going into battle:

Conclusion

We did not spend a whole lot of time in the basement level before heading back up the elevator and ending our tour of the museum.  We spent about a couple of hours at the museum as I went around reading the displays and my daughter spent her time watching some of the figure skating videos that were playing.  All in all we had a good time and I learned a lot about the history and sport of figure skating.  If anyone feels the need to get into the Olympic spirit the World Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame is a great place to start.

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