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Figure Skating

The International Skating Union Increases Minimum Age Limit to 17

Kamila Valieva’s failed drug trust at this year’s Winter Olympics raised questions about the minimum age limit of competitors in senior events, and the International Skating Union is ready for a change. The organization raised the minimum age limit to 17 ahead of the 2026 Winter Olympics. This decision comes after months of debate in the ice skating world, and the ISU president Jan Dijkema described it as “very important” and “historic”. According to the ISU’s official announcement, the new rule was implemented “for the sake of protecting the physical and mental health, and emotional well-being of the skaters.” The ISU Congress voted to gradually increase the age limit, but no change will be made during the current season. An increase to 16 years will be in place for the season 2023/24, raising to 17 years one season later, just in time before the next Winter Olympics in Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. This decision comes a few months after the controversy surrounding Kamila Valieva at the Beijing Olympic Games. The Russian figure skater, who was 15 at the time, was embroiled in a doping scandal when she tested positive for trimetazidine, a banned heart medication, after helping the Russian team win a gold medal in a team figure skating event.