The ISU Adult Figure Skating Competition has been held in Oberstdorf, Germany since it first began in 2005.
This small Bavarian town (a few hours south of Munich) is centrally located for most competitors – North Americans find it easy to get there (fly to Munich and then drive or take the train to Oberstdorf) as do competitors from Asia and Australia and New Zealand and, of course, it is central for other Europeans.
In addition, it is difficult to find another location as suitable. In order to get the ISU judges needed, this competition is held at the end of the ISU season for Olympic eligible skaters. Thus, because it takes place in late May or early June, there are very few rinks still open in Europe.
The skating community in Oberstdorf does an outstanding job. They know how to run first rate competitions and they draw upon eager, friendly community volunteers to ensure everything runs smoothly. At the Eislaufzentrum complex, there are two Olympic sized rinks (plus a smaller public rink), a figure skating boutique to purchase clothing or to have skates sharpened, an excellent restaurant as well as a snack bar.
The town itself is easy to get around and one can walk just about everywhere. It offers accommodation to suit every price range and amenity, there are ample restaurants and grocery stores as well as a community centre with a swimming pool and hot tub. Oberstdorf is a tourist destination known for its alpine hiking and spa treatments. English is spoken in most establishments.
Although each year there has been discussion about moving the competition, Oberstdorf seems to be the favorite location for competitors, judges and organizers alike. And, after six years, Oberstdorf feels like it has become the “home” of the ISU Adult Competition.