One discipline within figure skating involves a pair of skaters, one male and one female. The most spectacular move is a "throw jump", in which the male skater throws the female into the air so that she spins several times before landing on a single blade. The top pairs in the world (such as Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao of China, shown below) can send the female skater a horizontal distance L = 7 meters across the ice, and raise her center of mass h = 1.2 meters high.
It helps to have a big, strong fellow and a petite partner. Zhang Hao, for example, is about 5' 11" tall and weighs 159 pounds, while Zhang Dan is only about 5' 4" and weighs only 106 pounds.
Copyright © Michael Richmond. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.