24 teams. 19 countries. 16 skaters. 7 minutes. 1 champion.
Every year in April, the world’s best synchronized skating teams come together to compete for the final time to close out the competitive season. For the time being, the World Synchronized Skating Championships is the most prestigious event in the discipline. I say for the time being because we are hopeful that one day, in the very near future that synchronized skating will be instated as an Olympic sport.
Earlier this month, I was fortunate enough to attend Worlds, which were held at the World Arena in Colorado Springs. It was an inspiring weekend to say the least. The best part about the event is that people from across the globe come together to one place, where we share our love for the sport. With all that is going on in our world today, it feels as so special to put our differences aside and be able to share our common love and passion for the sport. It made the world feel like a much smaller place.
It’s hard to describe how incredible it was to attend Worlds while it was held in the US. Looking around the arena and seeing a sea of red, white and blue filled me with overwhelming pride for our country. Cheering on our two teams representing Team USA was an absolute thrill. The arena was electric before and after the Haydenettes (Team USA 1) and the Crystalletes (Team USA 2) competed. The vast majority of the stadium was on their feet, waving American flags, clapping and chanting “USA” as loud as humanly possible. The Haydenettes finished 4th in the world, skating a lights out Prince themed free program. It was such an honor to watch both Team USA teams finish in the top ten on the world stage.
The competition was extremely close among the top three contenders. Paradise (Team Russia 1), won their second consecutive World Championships, skating two incredibly strong performances. Their two programs were technically challenging yet their skating looked effortless and beautiful. Marigold (Team Finland 1), finished in 2nd, less than two points behind Paradise. Finland’s speed and power was astounding; their synchronicity was truly outstanding. Nexxice (Team Canada 1) finished in 3rd, skating a unique long program, filled with raw emotion and incredible skating skills.
The event was inspiring not only for all the spectators but for the skaters and coaches watching, both at the event and around the world. The skill, strength, flexibility, artistry and creativity displayed every year among the world’s best teams is part of why synchronized skating is one of the fastest evolving sports. Year after year the quality of skating at the world level increases. The caliber of these teams is something that all other teams around the world strive to emulate in the future.
Synchronized skating is a sport that combines all disciplines of skating. There are freestyle elements including jumps and spins, pairs elements including pairs spins and lifts, and the edge and turn quality is reflective of ice dancing. Synchronized skating involves 16 athletes, skating together as 1. The precision, athleticism, strength, flexibility, grace and artistry that is required to be successful is what makes this sport unique. Until the day comes when synchronized skating is made an Olympic sport, we have must continue to increase the level of difficulty and creativity. We have not come this far to walk away without the victory.