Where is Ice Skating Most Popular? – Top 7


Written by

Marsh Harrison



Godfrey Rice

where is ice skating most popular

Sometimes, learning a sport isn’t only to master skills, tricks, or compete. Many sport enthusiasts wish to know more about the activity’s origin, how it started, and what made it popular.

Let’s take ice skating, for example. Where is ice skating most popular? Ask anyone, and most would suggest Asian powerhouses like China, Korea, and Japan. Others might include Russia and the United States.

Keep reading as we learn more about the influence and level of ice skating in these nations.

Map of countries that are known for figure skating

What Country is Known for Ice Skating?

Ice skating rinks are almost everywhere, whether in warm or cold climates. That means the sport has gained widespread popularity. But here are the countries that set the trends, earned the most gold medals, and established the very grassroots of ice skating.

1. Russia

Kamila Valieva of Team ROC skates during the Women Single Skating Short Program

One reason Russia is the most famous nation in ice skating in the world is its success in training talented skaters.

But besides that, what creates the immense ice skating hype in this country? First, it has several cities with ice rinks open almost daily. Second, we must consider its topography. Russia offers solid lakes and rivers that, when iced, can be a perfect avenue for the sport.

No doubt there are many places and avenues to skate here. What about Russia’s ice skating culture and tradition?

The sport has become a source of national pride, and many young children are enrolled in figure skating or ice hockey schools.

Russia also offers much funding to their athletes, and although this costs much to their federation, it’s still a relevant investment for the country to keep its ice skating culture alive and thriving.

2. United States


Who would ever forget the iconic Rockefeller Center ice skating rink in New York during Christmas?

Like Russia, the United States has numerous ice skating rinks for popular events like hockey and figure skating. What’s good about these places is they accommodate skaters of any age and level.

One of the most remarkable feats of the United States’ ice skating culture is their recent Olympic Gold Medalist, Nathan Chen.

3. Norway


Frozen lakes? Ice skating rinks? Norway has 100 rinks and Oslo forest lakes for ice skating. If there’s one commemorative aspect of Norway’s ice skating influence, it’s the country being the home of the sport.

4. Japan

Figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu

How popular is ice skating in Japan?

Japan’s discipline-bound ice skating culture flourished mainly because of individual talents, with skaters like Midori Ito and Yuruzu Hanyu leading the charge.

Like the US, Japan’s recent milestones in ice skating include dominant wins in the singles categories in the 2022 Olympics and ISU Figure Skating World Championships.

5. Sweden


Sweden is another country that is known for figure skating, with 1.5 million skaters gliding around 400 of their ice skating rinks yearly.

Like the countries above, Sweden has had successful stints in the international arena, accumulating a total of 10 medals (5 gold, 3 silver, and 2 bronze in figure skating) at the Winter Olympics.

6. China

Jessica Shuran Yu competed in Germany in 2017

China has also produced some of the finest figure skaters in the world.

This country is home to many of the best ice skating arenas, and the Capital Indoor Stadium is a perfect example. No doubt, these milestones are only a few evidences of the country’s love for ice and snow centuries back.

7. Korea


The rise of ice skating in Korea started with Yuna Kim. Backed by ice skating rinks in Busan and Seoul open all year round, Korea has become host to public skating lessons.

With the love of Koreans for ice skating, the country has delivered successful stints in World Championships, X-Games, Olympics, and other international tourneys.


No single country has ever dominated ice skating, and that only goes to show this sport has traveled far enough to gain global popularity.

So, where is ice skating most popular? It has considerable popularity on almost every continent, like Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Countries like Russia, China, and the US have had victorious feats in the sport, and it’s no surprise that their neighboring nations will also have their prime years soon.

And if you happen to be outside of these countries, who knows, you could be the spark plug for ice skating to earn popularity in your hometown.

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