8 things you should know about history of synchro


The Finnish Rockettes are among the most medal winners at the Seniors World Championships with three gold medals (2008, 2010 and 2011) and ten national titles. / Credits: Milhail Lefler

The ISU is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. Founded in 1892, the International Skating Union brings together all the disciplines of skating and is based in Lausanne, Switzerland. On the occasion of this jubilee, we return on the history of synchronized skating in eight points.

The International Skating Union is one of the oldest international winter sport federation in the world. « Since the foundation of the ISU the ice skating disciplines have developed steadily over time to occupy the significant role they now enjoy in the world of sport », write the ISU on its website.

The first international figure skating competition took place in Vienna, Austria in 1882. Ten years later, the International Skating Union (ISU) was founded in Scheveningen, Netherlands.

Synchronized skating in 8 questions

1. The first mention of synchronized skating?

1838 by the Oxford Skating Society in England. Synchro was called «combined figure skating»

Haydenettes, the US most famous team. / Credits: Roy Ng Photography

2. Officially, how old is synchronized skating?

63 years old. The origin of this discipline takes place in 1954 in Ann Arbor, Michigan (USA), as «precision skating». The first real precision skating team was formed by Dr. Richard Porter two years later. The team entertained the audience during the intermissions of the local hockey team's games. Throughout the 1960's, teams began forming in USA and Canada as in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Ontario, or Quebec.

3. Which country organized the first national championships?

It was Canada in 1983. The first U.S. Figure Skating Association national precision Championships followed one year later. By 1987, Japan and Australia had become the first non-North American countries participating in international precision skating competitions.

4. When did the ISU recognize synchro for the first time?

Precision team skating received the ISU's official recognition as a discipline of figure skating in 1994 and the ISU began sanctioning international competitions, with fifteen countries participating. In 1996 the first ISU World Precision Challenge Cup was held in Boston, Massachusetts.

5. What happened in 1998?

The ISU changed the name of «precision skating». Synchronized skating became the official name of the sport, a more internationally understood term.

Team Paradise of Russia was crowned Senior World Champion twice, in 2016 and 2017. / Credits: Roy Ng Photography

6. Which city hosted the first synchronized world championships?

The first World Synchronized Skating Championships were held in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2000, with twenty-one teams from seventeen countries competing.

7. Which team collected the most gold medals at the World Championships?

The Swedish Team Surprise is the most crowned team in the world. The formation created in 1985 has won six gold medals since 2000.

8. In terms of the future, which city will host the Superior Worlds next season?

The city of Stockholm (SWE). The competition will be held on 6 and 7 April 2018.

Sources: ISU / Svenskkonstakning / Team Del Sol