From the Ice to the Stands: The Thoughts of a Former U.S. Synchro Skater


After nearly 730 days of Covid-19, cancelled competitions, and practice restrictions, the synchro community finally welcomed back the Junior World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria. Read the editorial of Jocelyn Song, former athlete and correspondent for Jura Synchro.

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In 2020, my team (Skyliners Junior) had to withdraw from Worlds in Nottingham, England. What was supposed to be my last competition became an abrupt end of my athletic career.

This past weekend, I found myself dressed in Team USA gear but as a spectator rather than on the ice. My job wasn’t to skate but to cheer on all the competitors. 

It was weird not having to do my makeup and hair hours before the competition. I didn’t get a fancy World’s lanyard with my picture on it. I wasn’t around my teammates or coaches. It was also bittersweet. It felt like 2020 all over again.

I missed the thrill of competing and nailing the ending pose knowing you left everything on the ice. I felt the identity crisis of trying to decide whether to say goodbye to the sport or skate another year just to get a proper final season.

But most importantly, I empathized for the athletes in 2022. Watching with the skater’s eye is useful to appreciate well-executed technical elements but the biggest thing I could relate to was the pure joy of skating at the World Championships. I was incredibly happy and proud of every single athlete in every single country for pushing through two incredibly difficult years. I saw all of their hard work pay off and the passion exudes from the ice. I couldn’t help but cheer for every team. 

Jocelyn in the stands with her family

Not competing allowed me to see some beautiful moments:

- Watching Hot Shivers (ITA), Team Mirum (ESP), Teams Elite (USA), Skyliners (USA). They had all withdrawn from the 2020 World Junior Championships and had to wait an additional year to compete again. Most of these teams were completely new. I wished all of the girls who had their last competition without knowing could come back and get a final bow on the ice.

- Poland sending two teams for the first time and a MASSIVE cheering crowd. Watching this country evolve in the past few years is so inspiring.

- Team Harmonia from the Czech Republic had the best cheer team. Family and friends got everybody in the stands cheering and dancing due to their infectious energy. 

- Watching Team Icicles (GBR) compete reminded me of how one of their former skaters sent me a care package after we withdrew in 2020. It was the sweetest gesture that I still am so grateful for today.

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- The Nexxice parents my family met at the hotel before the competition started. We had a lovely conversation about being a “synchro mom/dad.” It’s way more nerve-wracking to watch than to compete.

- Parents waiting 30 minutes outside in the cold to greet their skaters as they exited the rink. We all know parents are the real forces behind the curtain but I certainly did not know how much patience and waiting they did all for their kids

-The look on the Skyliners and Teams Elite’s faces when they finished their programs. Team USA has never had two teams on the podium before. I hope I did the “USA” chant correctly! 

"You don’t need to be an athlete to be a part of the synchro community"
Every little second from this past weekend showed me that you don’t need to be an athlete to be a part of the synchro community. Comradery, artistry, and passion for the sport is what made the World Championships special to me as a skater.

Now it’s even more beautiful to see and appreciate as an alum-turned-fan. Luckily, this isn’t my last Worlds or competition. I’ll be back in the stands ready to cheer! I cannot wait to see the sport evolve this next season.

Finally, I want to say one last thing to my former teammates on the 2020 Skyliners Junior team. I was listening to all of our old competition songs as good luck and I thought about all of us doing “Defying Gravity” and skating our programs one last time.

I know we’ll never quite get over how the season ended but watching Skyliners Junior 2022 was a surreal experience. Our legacy still lives on in the next generation of skaters (and this applies for all skaters all around the world) <3

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Results - TOP 3

ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships 2022
Innsbruck (AUT)
MAR 17, 2022 - MAR 19, 2022

TEAM Score
1Team Fintastic (FIN)205.61
2Skyliners (USA)204.39
3Teams Elite (USA)204.11