While the host nation is automatically entitled to send at least one skater to each event, not all countries are eligible to send even one skater. Skaters find out if they are qualified for the Olympics at the World Figure Skating Championships, which take place a year before the Olympics. The top eight finishers in the men's competition and the top six in the ladies' event qualify for Tokyo.
In addition to their national championships, athletes can also qualify by finishing among the best in the world rankings. As of now, Iran's only opportunity to compete at the Olympic level comes via its women's team. They qualified by winning the Asian Winter Games last month in South Korea.
Iran has never won a single Olympic medal. However, they have been sending competitors to the Summer Olympics since 1980 while the country was under Islamic law. Therefore, Iran is considered a major power in figure skating.
The United States is the most successful country in Olympic figure skating history. It has won more than any other nation with 13 gold medals. Russia is second with 10 golds and Canada is third with two golds. In the past, American skaters have often dominated the sport and there were doubts if they would continue to do so without them. But since 1998 when Tony Mealling died in an accident during a practice run for the Salt Lake City Olympics, the United States has failed to win another gold medal.
To compete in the Olympic Games as a skater, you must first qualify for the Olympic squad. To qualify, you must finish first, second, or third in your country's national championships. If no one from your country is already qualified, then you can also make the team by winning an international competition.
The next requirement to become an Olympic ice skater is to have the physical ability to perform at a high level. You must be healthy to compete and have the strength to deal with intense training sessions and competitions. Skaters who do not meet these requirements cannot compete.
Finally, you need mental toughness to go the distance even when you are injured or feeling down about yourself.
Being an Olympic ice skater requires hard work, commitment, and stamina. It also requires that you are healthy enough to practice daily and compete in national and international tournaments.
In addition, you must have the financial resources to pay for expensive coaches and equipment needed to improve your skating skills.
The good news is that anyone can learn how to skate. With proper instruction and motivation, you too can achieve your goals of becoming an Olympic ice skater.
The number of entries for the figure skating events at the Olympic Games was restricted by an IOC quota. There were 30 skaters in the ladies' and men's singles disciplines, 20 pairs, and 24 ice dancing couples. This means that only one in three participants could win a medal.
In fact, only four athletes from Taiwan have ever won a gold medal in figure skating: Tai Chi-Chuan, Tang Fei, Chen Wen-Hsin and Lee Ta-Shun. They achieved this success between 1952 and 2004.
Chen Wen-Hsin is the most successful athlete of all time with five gold medals. He is also the only man to have won four consecutive titles from 1970 to 1973.
The next best nation on the medal table is Russia with seven golds. They are followed by Canada with six medals, including three golds, and the United States with five medals, including two golds.
Figure skating at the Olympics is not as popular as it used to be but there are still many fans watching the event today. In fact, it is the third most viewed sport after swimming and gymnastics.
At the end of the 19th century, figure skating became popular among Canadians because of its originator, Charles L.A. Maxwell.