This synchro team has something unique


"It is always difficult to be the first, but that's interesting." (Credits: Team Diamonds)

Located in the city of Tallinn, Team Diamonds is the only synchronized skating team in Estonia. Unlike its neighbour (Finland), this northern European country has not yet developed this skating discipline and dreams of more popularity.

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When it comes to synchronized skating, a lot of people still don't know what it is. "In our country, there are some difficulties in attracting people, because the country is small and unfortunately there is prejudice towards the sport," says Kristiina Lokai, skater in the Team Diamonds.

"In order for the sport to become more popular, it would be good to have synchronized skating competitions in Estonia, so that people can see with their own eyes the beauty of the sport", continues Kristiina. For her, more promotion of synchro in the country would also bring good energy to develop the team further.

"Synchro skating has become our passion"
"This season, several schools and clubs are trying to recruit athletes to create new teams, but for the moment we are the only synchro team in Estonia," says the skater who dreams of having more teams within the country.

Team Diamonds is made up of 20 skaters. Created during the 2016-2017 season, the team participated in competitions for only two years in the Mixed Age category. "Our team has very different ages, from 12 to 23, mostly the group is 13-17 years old. We are very friendly and just adore synchronized skating; this has become our passion. We are like one big family!"

Competing for only two years, Team Diamonds has been able to significantly improve their results since their debuts. (Credits: Team Diamonds)

To get there, it has been a long and sometimes complicated road for the team. 

"The first attempt to form a team was in 2014. At that time, it was not particularly clear what synchronized skating was, what the rules were, etc. The first line-up of the team lasted one season. Two years later, some of the members of the first team decided to try to restore the team and began to invite everyone who wanted to try this sport, at the same time, we had a new coach who was with us for a short time but gave a big impulse to development," explains Kristiina.

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Developing the team has been quite difficult after that. "The coaches change every season, and there are currently no synchronized skating coaches in Estonia at the moment, so it is challenging to attract new people to the team. However, we do not just train, but also try to promote this skating discipline", continues Kristiina, member of the Team Diamonds, a name given somewhat at random during the team's creation. 

"It is always difficult to be the first, but that's interesting. We hope that our experience, aspiration and passion will give an impetus to the development of synchronized skating in Estonia."

Their motto: "Difficulties only make us stronger." (Credits: Team Diamonds)

Great development potential
The Team Diamonds trains at the Tallinn figure skating school, which brings together different clubs. The club is called "Elegance" and is the largest figure skating school in Estonia, which gives this young team great development potential.

"The most difficult time for us was when the pandemic was just beginning, and all ice rinks were closed, and outdoor training was prohibited. Everything was forbidden. In a sense, we had a forced vacation, and for some time we had a rest so that when the skating rinks were opened, we could start working with renewed vigour," explains the team.

But the athletes couldn't rest for long. Team Diamonds has then developed an individual training plan, and everyone at home continued stretching training, cardio exercises, and strength loads. 

"From the middle of May, group training was allowed on the street, and it was a great joy that we could already start training together. In the middle of summer, we returned to the ice with new skills and from then on we worked on skating qualities."

At the moment in Estonia, only athletes who are on the lists of the National federation can be on the ice. Luckily, as Team Diamonds is the only synchro team in Estonia, they are allowed to practice with no restrictions. "Unauthorized entry is prohibited, wearing masks is mandatory, and each athlete must register himself at the entrance. On the ice, we have the right to train without masks and without observing the distance. But this is just because we are a team. We are in fairly close contact."

The team has existed for about 5 years and is the only synchronized skating team in Estonia. (Credits: Team Diamonds)

Like many synchro teams, Team Diamonds' skaters think that the pandemic has brought them together, taught them patience, to treat any situations with understanding and not to lose faith. "And it also taught me how to train in any conditions," says Kristiina.

Above all, and despite all the difficulties (finding a coach, lack of popularity, prejudice, etc.), Team Diamonds has created a team that develops every season and only goes forward. "We are changing the opinion of society in our country. After all, looking at us, people understand how great it is to have such a team family, support and how much this sport fascinates with its beauty and complexity."

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This season the team from Estonia has made a new program, and new athletes entered the team.

"Our goals for the coming months are to improve skating skills and bring everyone to a higher level. We also want to improve, complicate the program and explore new elements for the future."

The team will take part in the "Together Once" virtual event. This digital meeting organized by the Cup of Dresden shall connect all teams in these difficult times. "We are now preparing a video presentation of our team," concludes Kristiina. The event will take place on March 21st.