Russia’s “Quad Squad”, a group of figure skaters, will attempt to win an Olympics podium sweep with quadruple jumps. These are very rare in women’s competition. Could skaters add a fifth rotation?

Experts in sports say that it is not known what limits humans have on how many rotations a skater can complete. Since 1988, quadruple jumps are a standard part of the men’s competition. This was after Kurt Browning from Canada landed the first quadruple jump. The feat was achieved by Miki Ando, Japan’s female athlete in 2002.

The quads that were displayed at the Beijing Games in women’s skateboarding are a new phenomenon.

Here are some examples of how jumps are made.

What determines the ROTATIONS IN A JOUMP?

Experts say that skaters should launch themselves as high as they can to maximize their spinning time.

Quads are more common in men’s ice skating because of the strength and speed required to launch and land.

However, a skater’s body measurements could be a factor that favors women. Rajiv Ranganathan from Michigan State University, who is an expert on body movements, suggested that a skater with a narrower frame might be more successful than one with wider shoulders. This could allow them to hold their bodies tighter with their arms raised, which would enable them to perform more rotations.

What does QUAD ENTAIL?

As the name suggests, a quadruple jump involves four rotations. However, the exact method by which skaters accomplish this feat can vary.

According to Polina Edmunds who participated in the 2014 Olympics, spinning has become more common in skaters. Pre-rotation, also known as spin, is another reason quads in women’s skating are not as common as they used to be.

She stated that the line between pre-rotation and post-rotation is blurred because they aren’t looking at it or penalizing it.

Edmunds stated that there is a push within the skating community to include pre-rotation (which might be a half turn or greater) into scoring. The technical panel currently examines whether landing is clean.


Quadruple jumps can be very stressful for the body.

Karl Erickson, Mayo Clinic’s sports performance coach, stated that players with basketball and volleyball land more slowly, starting with their front feet. This helps to absorb the impact. Skating is more abrupt because the skater has one foot and is tied to it.

Erickson stated, “It’s an insane amount of force that they must be able to absorb quick and land gracefully.”

Edmunds stated that skaters can feel pressured to attempt quads because they are being rewarded for trying them even though they don’t land them.

She said that more young girls will be trying quads even if they land wrong or risk injury.

Edmunds noted that the small size of the women’s skaters landing quads in womens’s skating was a sign of their ability to be successful. Kamila Valieva (Russian favorite), is the leader of the short program. She is 15 years old. Alexandra Trusova and Anna Shcherbakova are her teammates.


A Valieva sample was taken weeks before the Olympics and tested positive for a banned drug by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Dr. Michael Fredericson of Stanford University’s School of Medicine stated that the drug trimetazidine is designed to increase blood flow to your heart. This would help people with heart disease.

He said that athletes could benefit from increased blood flow to increase their endurance and be able to exercise more intensely for longer periods of time. It’s unclear what benefits it could bring to skaters, he said.

Lawyers for Valieva cited contamination due to the heart medication her grandfather was using.


It is not yet known how many additional rotations a skater can achieve. Ranganathan, a Michigan State University student, said that past assumptions about human performance limits — such as the 4-minute mile – have been proved wrong.

The quad axel is the next step forward in jumping, a 4 1/2 revolution jump that Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu attempted to land in competition.

Ranganathan still noted that spins in skating jumps require a certain height.

He said, “That could eventually put a limit on the number of rotations we can achieve.”