Biellmann, 40 years of history
The Biellmann is the only spin named after a person. (Credits: Ice Galaxy - 2019)
Also used in synchronized skating, the Biellmann has been named after Denise Biellmann, who made it popular. The Swiss skater was crowned World Champion exactly 40 years ago, in March 1981.
The Swiss skater has marked the world of figure skating for two reasons. First, she was the first in history to land a triple lutz in competition. Secondly, she gave the name to the famous Biellmann spin and position, well known today to all skaters.
Originally, the Biellmann is an upright spin, a variation of the layback spin. While spinning on one leg, the skater pulls the other leg up and holds the foot extended over and behind the head.
The Russian skater Tamara Bratus, who later became a successful pair skater and coach, was also one of the first athletes to perform the spin. She said that gymnasts inspired her.
If the Biellmann is the only spin that has the name of a skater, note that the names of the skating jumps all come from their inventor: the axel comes from the Norwegian Axel Paulsen, the salchow from the Swede Ulrich Salchow, the rittberger from the German Werner Rittberger or the lutz from the Austrian Alois Lutz.