Synchronized Skating is the youngest of the Figure Skating disciplines. Originally known as “Precision Skating”, it is a discipline where 8 to 20 skaters perform in a group. Synchronized Skating developed in the USA when Dr. Richard Porter of Ann Arbor organized the first team.
The first competition for team skating was held in Ann Arbor in 1976 and the first international Synchronized Skating competition took place in Sweden in 1989 with seven nations represented. The ISU officially recognized Synchronized Skating as a discipline at the 1994 ISU Congress. Two years later, the first of four ISU World Synchronized Skating Challenge Cups, the forerunner of the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships, was held in Boston (USA). 17 teams from 13 countries competed in the event.
The ISU World Synchronized Championships started in 2000 with the inaugural event held in Minneapolis (USA). In 2001, the ISU introduced World Challenge Cup for Juniors which became the ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships in 2013.
Synchronized Skating has grown in popularity worldwide with teams in Europe, North America and Asia. The leading countries are Finland, Sweden, USA, Canada and, more recently, Russia that won the past two World titles as well as the 2017 World Junior title.