Figure skating is a sport that demands strength, speed, stamina, and an incredible amount of dedication. Skaters often begin training as young as five or six years old, with their athletic abilities peaking in their 20s. After turning professional, a skater may not hang up their competition skates until their late forties. All of this extensive exercise helps carve some of the most beautiful bodies in sports. Here are ten of the hottest women figure skaters of all time.
10. Kiira Korpi
This young lady represents Finland with effortless grace. Her movement on the ice is fluid and her blond good looks give her an appealing presence that is hard to ignore. She is a four-time national champion and a three-time European champion, proving that her talent easily outshines her beauty. Only 25, she has bowed out of the most recent skating season due to an Achilles tendon injury and hopes to make a full recovery for the 2014-2015 season.
9. Katarina Witt
Katarina originally competed for East Germany and took up the mantle for Germany after reunification. Dark-haired and intense, she dominated a sport that usually favors the waif-thin and petite while being curvy enough to model and pose in the buff for Playboy magazine at the age of 33. She is a four-time World champion and won the gold in two consecutive Olympic Games, in addition to being crowned the European Champion six times in a row.
8. Tanith Belbin
Canadian-American Belbin and partner Ben Agosto have taken ice dancing from an oft-ignored discipline to the center stage. The duo captured four World championships, five US championships, and a silver medal at the 2006 Olympic Games. These feats are made even more astonishing when you realized Tanith is only two and a half inches shorter than her partner in a discipline where the male usually towers over the female. Belbin is incredibly strong, yet maintains her femininity by showcasing long, gorgeous hair, clear skin, and flashing blue eyes.
7. Michelle Kwan
The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Kwan came from working-class roots in a sport where rink fees, skates, and coaching can cost tens of thousands of dollars per year. Her determination and the help of a benefactor lifted Michelle to two Olympic games, where she earned a bronze and a silver. She is also a five-time World champion and nine-time US champion. Her gorgeous, classic Chinese features, coupled with her glossy black hair and ever-present smile make her one of the hottest women figure skaters ever.
6. Lucinda Ruh
In a sport largely dominated by the most petite ladies to be found, statuesque Ruh stood head and shoulders about her competition at 5’9″. Her height proved to be disastrous to her jumping ability, but her spins and amazing flexibility brought her to the forefront when she won the Swiss National Championships in 1996. It should be noted that Switzerland is known for producing the best spinners in skating, so this was quite a feat. Although she never made an Olympic bid, her beauty and athleticism netted her multiple modeling contracts and many invitations to skating exhibitions where jumps are not required elements.
5. Ekaterina Gordeeva
Gordeeva skated to two Olympic gold medals and four World championships with her husband, Sergei Grinkov. Too small and weak to be a singles skater, she was paired with Sergei when she was only 11 and remained at his side until he died at the unlikely age of 28 during a practice session. Her frailty adds to her beauty, and her pain after Sergei’s tragic death brought a certain maturity and purpose to her movements on the ice. Even now, a mother of two and remarried to fellow Olympian Ilia Kulic, she is haunting in her classic Russian beauty.
4. Shizuka Arakawa
Shizuka took up skating as a young girl growing up in Mayagi, Japan. A World champion in 2004, she was not a heavy favorite going into the 2006 Turin Olympic Games. While all eyes were on Irina Slutskya and Sasha Cohen, who both had disastrous errors, Shizuka calmly took the ice and out-skated everyone with a flawless performance. Her almost-eerie sense of purpose and unflappable demeanor showcased her maturity and made her one of the hottest women figure skaters in Japan since 80s darling Midori Ito.
3. Yuna Kim
After winning the gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics, Kim returned to take the silver at the Games in Sochi. She is also a six-time South Korean champion, a two-time World champion, and a three-time winner of the Grand Prix Final. Having never finished off the podium in any competition, Kim’s work ethic alone is attractive. However, it is her sunny disposition, knock-out hair, and quick, easy smile that ingratiates her to everyone she meets.
2. Kristi Yamaguchi
An American of Japanese heritage, Yamaguchi was a powerhouse in the skating world in the early nineties, claiming two World titles, a US title, and an Olympic gold in under three years. Extremely petite at 5’1″, she was originally a pairs skaters with fellow Olympian Rudy Galindo before both of them took up singles skating. Now in her 40s and a winner of Dancing with the Stars, Kristi continues to be a drop-dead gorgeous woman with a figure she earned on the ice.
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1. Carolina Kostner
Skating for Italy, Kostner is another exceptionally tall skater at 5’7″. A World champion in 2012, she earned the bronze medal in Sochi and wowed the crowds with her energetic, playful performances. A queen among skaters, Carolina stands at the front of the line of the hottest women figure skaters in recent memory, with bright blond locks and piercing green eyes.
When compiling a list of the hottest women figure skaters, it’s easy to become distracted by theatrical makeup and glitzy costumes. The ten women featured here have the years of training and the fistfuls of medals to prove that their beauty was earned the hard way.