Skating began in Europe, but modern figure skating can be credited to American Jackson Haines. Haines, talented in ice skating and dancing, became an innovator in the United States, where figure skating had developed a stiff and rigid style. In 1863 and 1864, he won the Championships of America, now called the United States Figure Skating Championships.
1880s: Canadian Louis Rubenstein helps create the Amateur Skating Association of Canada, now called the Canadian Figure Skating Association. He also helps found the National Amateur Skating Association of the United States and the International Skating Union of America, forerunners to the United States Figure Skating Association.
1882: The first international figure skating competition takes place in Vienna.
1906: A separate singles event for women is created.
1908: Figure skating becomes the first winter sport included in the Olympics at the Summer Games in London. Swede Ulrich Salchow, who has a jump named after him, wins the gold. Irving Brokaw becomes the first American to compete in an international event, placing sixth.
1936: At the Garmisch-Partenkirchen Games, Sonja Henie of Norway wins a third consecutive Olympic gold medal. She goes on to star in a series of skating movies.
1948: American Dick Button wins the gold medal and lands the first double axel jump in Olympic competition at the St. Moritz Games.
1984: Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean of Great Britain capture the gold medal in ice dancing at the Sarajevo Winter Olympics, earning the event's first perfect 6.0 scores.
1992: At the Albertville Olympic Games, singles skaters no longer have to perform compulsory figures.
1994: Oksana Baiul of Ukraine narrowly defeats American Nancy Kerrigan for the women's gold medal at the Lillehammer Olympic Games. The media attention surrounding the Kerrigan-Tonya Harding soap opera contributes to record-breaking television ratings.