Lausanne, Switzerland


In 2018, Team Surprise revealed one final surprise to the Synchronized Skating community: their retirement.

Team Surprise SWE Shanghai Trophy 2016 International Skating Union ISU 513864566

Team Surprise (SWE) at the Shanghai Trophy 2016©International Skating Union (ISU)

The Swedish National team earned a total of 12 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships medals in their 35-year run; six of which are gold.

Team Surprise was best known for their speed and innovative programs. They were often the first to execute, if not inspire, many of the required elements seen today. The team is still very much involved in the Synchronized Skating community. Today, they are working diligently to help other skaters, including Team Surprise, to one day rise #UpAgain.

While head coach Andrea Dohány continues to coach singles skating in Sweden, she has also been actively involved in choreography and skating skill development across Europe.

“For many years I have worked with Team Passion, in Hungary, which means a lot since I am Hungarian,” said Dohány. “I am also particularly pleased this year that Ice on Fire [Italy], which I started to help and train when they were a novice team, has taken great strides in development.”

Gemma Marsh, born in the UK, skated four seasons with Team Surprise (2014-2018). She currently works with Maëliss de Mendez to coach a novice team based in Landvetter, Sweden.

“I hope that we can continue helping skaters in Sweden with their development and that the size and standard of the sport will continue to grow here,” said Marsh. “It is so rewarding to see how quickly skaters can improve after having just one session with us.”

Team Surprise SWE Shanghai Trophy 2016 International SKating Union ISU

Team Surprise (SWE) at the Shanghai Trophy 2016©International Skating Union (ISU)

Nathalie Lindqvist and Nathalie Josefson are both eight year members of Team Surprise and former captains. They have participated in a number of seminars too.

“At training camps, and when we are helping teams, we practice on the ice together with the skaters, give lectures on and off-ice and share our experiences,” said Lindqvist and Josefson. “Most importantly, we are still learning. We are regularly practicing together every week to be able to spread the knowledge further.”


Given the success and accessible location, there is hope that Trento will allow for more teams to participate in the future. “The Italian federation is aiming to organize a second edition of the camp in 2020 increasing the number of participants and offering also more subjects,” said Dohány.

In addition to Trento, the team also led a camp in Herning, Denmark. Northern countries such as Sweden and Finland have a strong Synchronized Skating legacy and Denmark is keen to develop the sport in order to join that list too. “Skaters and coaches from different clubs all around Denmark gathered for a few days to learn synchro,” said Maëliss de Mendez. “They had ice sessions, off-ice trainings and theory. Hopefully this will bring the beginning of synchro in Denmark.”

Team Surprise WSYSC 2017 International SKating Union ISU

Team Surprise (SWE) at the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships 2017©International Skating Union (ISU)

The philosophy of Team Surprise was to think and dare to go outside the box and try something new. This is the spirit and experience that the Team Surprise coaching team share with others as they believe this was a key to their success.

Team Surprise SWE Shanghai Trophy 2017 International Skating Union ISU 879049752

Team Surprise (SWE) at the Shanghai Trophy 2017©International Skating Union (ISU)

“All teams and coaches work in different ways and have their own way of teaching. We absolutely believe that we can learn, share and inspire each other,” said Lindqvist and Josefson. “It's about how we can get coaches to think differently and see how you can learn elements and do programs etc. in a different way. We therefore think that this collaboration is important and that we use each other’s experience to be able to develop the sport to its full potential.”

While many of the Team Surprise coaching team seminars have been focused on synchro-skaters-for-synchro-skaters, that’s not to say they do not also strongly support a collaborative future.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many teams to pivot their training to alternative options, the Landvetter KK club included. “During the spring, we had training both virtually, outdoors and on ice with restrictions. When we have had the opportunity to practice on ice, it has only been individual training with focus on skating skills,” said Lindqvist. “Now after summer break, we have started with Synchro element but take the whole situation around Covid-19 very seriously.”

Looking ahead to the future of Swedish Synchronized Skating—and the sport in general—there is a very big void to fill, but the Surprise coaching team remains optimistic.

“By working from the beginning with our youngest skaters, we will build a stronger basis in order to come back as one of the strongest nations in the world again,” said Maëliss de Mendez