patinaje de hielo

One of the more useful and versatile words to know in Spanish is la pista.

It has dual meanings in that la pista can be “a track”, but it’s also “clue”. My assumption is it’s related to “things you follow”.

For that reason la autopista “highway” is literally “car track”, and pista y campo is “track and field”. And la pista is sometimes used to discuss a specific area where something is done like la pista (de baile) is “the dance floor”, and you might see la pista de (patinaje sobre) hielo “ice rink / skating rink”.

Additionally when it comes to detective stuff, la pista is used as “clue” or someone’s “trail”, something you follow. This is probably because the etymology has to do with las huellas “footprints/fingerprints” or “trail” left by animals that people would follow. 

In that way, la pista is related to “track” in pretty much every way… “track” in a sports way, or “tracking an animal”… and la pista can also be “a track” for music.