Team Marigold Ice Unity (FIN) skates during the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships 2022 in Hamilton (CAN) @ISU (International Skating Union)
There is no „I“ in team - an age-old motto especially relevant in Synchronized Skating When coaches send a group of skaters onto the ice, they are sending out a team, not a group of individuals.
Team Les Supremes (CAN) hugs during the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships 2022 in Hamilton (CAN) @ISU (International Skating Union)
Using teamwork to bring skaters closer together is essential in Synchronized Skating. When the top teams gathered at the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships 2022 in Hamilton (CAN), each team showed different strengths while achieving memorable moments on the ice.
World Champions Les Supêmes (CAN) fight their way #UpAgain
While many setbacks hit the Canadian team during the past season, their team spirit is what kept them afloat and working towards their goals. After continuous injuries of various athletes, Les Suprêmes’ special bond helped all skaters overcome their difficulties to achieve the team’s ultimate goal.
Team Les Supremes (CAN) poses during the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships 2022 in Hamilton (CAN) @ISU (International Skating Union)
“After finally coming back to the arena and seeing how the programs have evolved from an outside perspective, having their constant support, like I never felt excluded; it's very emotional having a team like this. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”, commented Loriana Cocca, who injured her leg at the beginning of the season, when referring to the support the team has given her throughout this emotional season.
Two hearts one passion
Synchronized Skating can lead to anything… Stepanka Tumova and Frantz-Michael Rouffanche from Team Olympia (CZE) met 9 years ago on the ice before being teammates. She is from the Czech Republic, and he is from France. After falling in love with each other in France, they decided to join Team Olympia in Prague (CZE) to achieve their skating goals together.
While their love for Synchronized Skating is as big as their love for each other, they made big plans together: Share their knowledge and passion for Synchronized Skating while preparing for their next big step : marriage!
A man in a women’s world
As part of the Haydenettes (USA), Stephen Murray is the only man on the team. It does not mean that he is in any way different than the other teammates – he is one of them. The team encourages one another to become the best version of themselves and thus to grow as a team.
Team Haydenettes (USA) skates during the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships 2022 in Hamilton (CAN) @ISU (International Skating Union)
“Having Stephen in the team creates almost a better environment and he definitely pushes us even further during fitness and all that kind of stuff.”, comments Cameron Feeley, the team’s public speaker. While there are many aspects of Synchronized Skating, the strengths of each individual add up to reveal the final performance. Thus, skaters must work on different skills such as strength, flexibility and skating skills.
“In Synchronized Skating you need to have strengths in every area, therefore in a team we all level each other out. I think Synchro is a great place for a guy to be. It really helps to have strengths in one area and also have other people to help you work on other things as well, for example, I have learned quite a few things here in terms of flexibility.”, Stephen adds.
Fun is the key to success
In Synchronized Skating a positive and enjoyable atmosphere is better for everyone, and often teamwork and fun go hand in hand. While it takes a lot of work to make sure each team member feels included and respected, Marigold Ice Unity (FIN), have worked on many fun rituals to help them grow together and become a successful team.
Synchronized Skating is a great sport to develop social skills and to learn to be a team player. However, the forming of a team does not happen by itself. “It takes a lot of work to get the team spirit up, but I think we managed to do it with all the little things. And we have a lot of fun events, like an initiation ceremony for the new ones.”, explained Captain Tessa Tamminen. The team tries to take the ice in a positive attitude with the focus being the enjoyment of the performance.
When things donot go to plan, the coaches and team members take the pressure off by focusing on the positives and adding humor into difficult situations.
Telling a story on the ice
For Team Hot Shivers (ITA), the most important part of Synchronized Skating is being able to transport a story to the audience. “We think, that having a meaning (to a program) on the ice, makes it easier and more fun to skate”, commented Hot Shivers skater Margarita Criscimanna.
Team Hot Shivers (ITA) hugs during the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships 2022 in Hamilton (CAN) @ISU (International Skating Union)
The goal of this season’s program was to shine a light on those who are often unheard and not seen and create awareness on violence against women. A theme particularly meaningful to the skaters of Hot Shivers, an all-female team who wanted to prove through their performance that women are just as powerful and strong as anyone else.
Coach and Choreographer Andrea Gilardi was inspired by this passionate group of female athletes to choose this theme, as he sees strength in each individual.
Every Synchronized Skater is different. Every skater has a unique set of characteristics, behaviors, dispositions and traits that make them who they are and can directly affect their ability to perform. Managing these different personalities can be a daunting task, yet Synchronized Skating teams that use cooperation, teamwork and confidence can accomplish great things.