Forced stop for one in two synchro teams


Training on the ice with no restriction? A dream for many teams. (Credits: Mihail Lefler - 2019)

According to our Instagram survey, 50% of synchro skaters are currently unable to practise on ice due to the pandemic.

You were more than 2,000 to participate in the survey we launched yesterday using our Instagram stories.

The latter revealed that one in two synchro athletes in the world can no longer skate because of the Covid-19 situation. Among the teams that are allowed to skate, 39.8% must respect the 1.5 meter distance and therefore cannot touch each other while skating.

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The realities are very diverse, depending on the country at the moment and everything changes very quickly. We have received many testimonies from synchro skaters over the past few hours.

"As the ice rinks are closed in Belgium, I feel like a part of me is missing," says Silke from Liedekerke, Belgium.

"Since the beginning of the season, we have only skated twice", regrets team Ex’L Ice from Paris, France.

"The situation is getting better in Spain. Since October, we can train together with hold but with masks. Only for two weeks in September, we were not able to hold. Now, we are preparing the regionals and online competition. Our nationals were postponed," explains Claudia, skater in Team Mirum.

In Great Britain, the situation is complicated.

"We are classed as leisure activity alongside casinos, so can’t open the ice rinks," - Hannah, who skates in the junior Team Unum (GBR). 

"We couldn’t train from mid-March to September. And then, my last skate was the 4th November and we went into our 2nd lockdown the day after," continues Jess from Ice Diamonds from Nottingham (GBR).

Several skaters expressed their anger to see the Government is currently classifying synchro skating as "indoor entertainment".

In New Zealand and Australia, things are mostly back to normal
"Teams are fortunate to train as normal," says Melissa. 

"You just have to scan your location when you arrive at the rink on our national tracking app. We only had two teams out of the seven or eight teams on the whole country compete at the national championships at the end of October. Cutting Edge who are a Mixed Age team from Dunedin, and the Ice Angels a basic novice team from Auckland. All the other teams decided they had not had enough time to prepare due to the numerous lockdowns. Our synchro season is now slowly coming to an end as the Summer/Christmas holidays begin. However, there are a few teams that might continue to train through", explains our correspondent in New Zealand Sabrina Snoad.

Team Nova - AUS (Credits: Ice Galaxy - 2019)

In Australia, there are a variety of Covid situations throughout the different states and territories. The national championships that were supposed to be held at the beginning of December were cancelled, however, some states still held their championships. Training situations again vary depending on the teams' location within the country. 

"We are able to train on the ice with no restrictions but we are not able to hold off ice, explains Team Nova based in Brisbane, Australia.

In North America, "masks, temperature checks and hand sanitizer... Lots of hand sanitizers!" is the reality for many teams, explains Nicole from Team Excel Collegiate in Norwood (MA, USA).

In Quebec (CAN), the closure of the rinks until at least January 11 is difficult for athletes to swallow.

Finland’s COVID-19 situation has worsened rapidly
Finland, which so far had managed to maintain its training and competitions, announced bad news recently. The greater Helsinki region will be in lockdown until December 20. Only national teams are allowed to train because the Finnish Olympic Committee has granted them special permission.

Thank you all for your participation in the survey and your responses!

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