The first synchronized figure skating competition my team competed in no longer exists.
It was the Interlake Regional Precision Competition. There were nine teams in three different categories, divided by size and skill. Five towns from our region were represented.
Today, there are approximately four teams in the same region of 88,000 people.
A quick Google search reveals synchro is seeing a drop in numbers especially across the prairies. What isn’t crystal clear is the reason.
Synchro can help improve a skater’s balance and coordination. There’s more to performing a kick-line than a skater just sticking a leg out in front of them. It’s a chance to learn footwork in a wheel formation and how to pass through an intersection so nobody falls. (hint: stop moving your skates)
Synchro can instil a sense of teamwork.
There are lines to keep straight, pinwheels to perfect and blocks to keep square. After practising two or three times a week, or more before competitions, if someone falls in the program it means deductions. And it means as a team you take deductions. Sometimes you win as a team, and sometimes you don’t win as a team.
As with every figure skating discipline, synchro is difficult. The upside is the travelling, the practices, the ground training in school gymnasiums, on-ice medal ceremonies and hearing chants of, “Hey, we are proud of you, say, we are proud of you, hey,” and your team reciprocates.
Yes, synchro is hard, and that’s why it’s worth it.
Synchronized Skating in Edmonton:
Edmonton Synchronized Skating Club – Six years old to adult
Northern Lites Synchronized Skating Club – All ages (Can Skate Stage 4 – adult)