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.
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.
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.
- 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 They had all withdrawn from the 2020 World Junior Championships and had to wait an additional year to compete again.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.
- 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!
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.
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
Results - TOP 3
ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships 2022
MAR 17, 2022 - MAR 19, 2022
|1||Team Fintastic (FIN)||205.61|
|3||Teams Elite (USA)||204.11|