Ice Skating: The Wiener Eislaufverein and its associated (since 1939) Ice Sports Club Engelmann made significant contributions to the development of ice skating in Austria. Ice skating has been practised in Austria since the 18th century (as documented in the Theresianische Akademie). In 1868 the performances of the dancer and figure skater Jackson Haines from Chicago decisively stimulated the development of modern figure skating in Vienna; theoretical and systematic rules of figure skating were laid down in the book "Spuren auf dem Eise" (1881) by D. Diamantidi, K. von Korper and M. Wirth (all members of the Vienna Ice Skating Club). Between 1891 and 1939 Austrian ice skaters were among the best in the world (4 Olympic medals, 30 world and 25 European championship titles). Wolfgang Schwarz won in the Olympic Winter Games of 1968 and in the 1972 Olympic Games, where Beatrix Schuba also won a medal for Austria (she also became World Champion in 1972); in 1968 Emmerich Danzer became world champion. The last person to win the European Championship for Austria was Claudia Kristofics-Binder in 1982. In 1991, the compulsory figures position of the competitions was eliminated and this reduced the chances for Austrian skaters to win.
In the discipline of speed skating Austrian skaters have been less successful (European champions in 1892, 1925, 1935). Michael Hadschieff (World Cup winner 1986 and 1989 over a distance of 1,500 m) and Emese Hunyady (winner of the European Championship in 1993, of the World Championship and Olympic Winter Games over a distance of 1,500 m in 1994) are outstanding skaters of recent years.
The Austrian Ice Skating Association (OeEV) was founded in 1889, it includes 75 clubs with 9,642 members (as of 1993).
Literature#H. Polednik, Sport und Spiel auf dem Eis, 1979.