Despite the pandemic, they decided to go skating abroad
Discover six synchro skaters' experience around the world (images' order): Venla, Eman Noel, Linda, Chloe, Mertcan and Isabella. (Credits: Skate Synchro Photo, Johannes Ollikainen, and skaters' photos)
Covid or not, some synchro skaters have listened to their hearts and pursued their dream. Discover the first part of this series of articles devoted to these athletes who have not been slowed down by the pandemic... on the contrary!
"Anyhow, I have been accepted into the team! So I will be skating there next season. It is a huge deal to move to another country. I have never even been to Italy before!" At only 19 years old, Venla should be able to move in April.
"With the experience, I’m hoping to learn skating abroad, I’d be able to one day past onto fellow skaters back at home," he adds.
"Competing alongside Nova at 2019 Worlds was simply amazing. I was blown away with both of their programs, the power, unison and creativity were simply inspiring. Being an Australian and part of the commonwealth obtaining a working holiday visa, was important to me as I’d be supporting myself abroad. The challenge of learning another language also appealed to me and there is no better way than immersing yourself," explains Eman Noel Donaire. Originally from Sydney, Australia, he left Australia last year in June 2020.
Especially skating in Canada has always been her biggest "secret" dream. "I hadn't told anyone that skating in Canada is my dream. Before the last spring, I didn't think that I would skate abroad, but fortunately, I saw an announcement on Instagram that Nova senior is looking for skaters, and then at that moment, I decided to be crazy and make my dreams come true.
I didn't think about it much and just sent the email that I'm interested in being a part of this team. I thought that skating abroad gives more than it takes. It's a perfect opportunity to live in a different country and to learn new languages and get to know new people," she says.
Their skating looked so easy and powerful. Nova Senior as a team seemed really hardworking, ambitious and goal-directed. Of course, the head coach and the coaching team seemed professional. There were many reasons why this team seemed perfect for me," adds Linda, who have skated two seasons in the senior team Lumineers in Finland.
"I was inspired from my experience at 2014 Worlds where I watched Nexxice Senior win the Silver Medal. From then I was always in awe of their incredible skating skills, story telling and all-around composure. I attended the Nexxice International Skills camp in 2018 which was my first time visiting Canada, and I had such an amazing experience at the camp and fell in love with Canada, I just knew that was the place I was meant to be," explains Chloe, 21 years old, who grew up in sunny Brisbane, Australia.
And why Canada? "Canada is famous for its ice-rinks and outdoor skating, so I guess Canada can be the dreamland for skating, and Nexxice's presence there was the ultimate combination of my dreams and aims," Mertcan Pak, 24 years. He graduated from Hacettepe University and currently working home-office and doing freelance translations.
The city of Brno, where the Team Darlings trains, is not far away from Vienna, where she lives (about 2 hours by train). "The second reason was that I speak Czech and thought that it's also a good opportunity to practice my language skills. Thirdly, I watched the Team Darlings at Spring Cup and was impressed by their powerful programs," continues Isabella.
Discover the second episode of these skaters' adventures that nothing will stop. You will learn how the selections went and their expectations in their new team.