Roller skating originated in 17th-century Holland. A Dutchman, disappointed at being unable to ice-skate when the canals had thawed, adapted a set of wooden wheels to his shoes and started “land skating”. The first skates, having all their wheels in a single row, are the true precursors of today’s inline skates that have gained great popularity and are now used almost exclusively in speed skating events.
Roller sports includes both roller speed skating and artistic – which is known now as roller figure skating. Roller figure skating is almost a direct adaptation of figure skating on ice. There are individual free skating, pairs and dance events. The skating routines are choreographed to music and marked by a panel of judges.