Faces of Synchro
"I think we stand out for our originality and the quality of our programs"
Her team was the 2019 Mozart Cup champion in Salzburg a few weeks ago… This week, we are zooming in on a skater from Team Nova of Canada. Elizabeth Morin is talking about her passion for synchronized skating.
It has been 4 years since Elizabeth Morin, 21 years old, began practicing synchronized skating. She answers this interview just before going back to school. She’s working and at the same time studying. She says it herself "it's really a second passion for me. I find the same little stress as in competition. It's adrenaline every day." Let's learn a little more about this passionate skater.
You and Synchro
When did you discover synchro?
On a whim, I decided to study in the United States. This is where I discovered the great world of synchronized skating. I chose Western Michigan University where they offered a great skating club including two synchro teams: one collegiate and one senior level. It was really there that I discovered this discipline.
What is your background in this discipline?
I skated for Western Michigan University Senior for a year. After that, I came back to study in Quebec and took a year off from skating. I missed it, so the next year I decided to start again. I absolutely wanted to skate at the Senior level. Quebec offered the opportunity to skate for 2 teams. After participating in the different auditions, I chose Nova.
If you had to remember, what is a memory that particularly touched you?
Our free program last year touched me a lot. This program was talking about love and we could do a very thorough interpretation! We could explore several feelings in this program and it was arduous work for me but so enjoyable to do. It was impossible not to fall in love with this program.
Can you describe the costume you were most proud to wear?
Every year we do business with "La Maison du Patin" in Montreal for our costumes. Josyane Lamond always creates beautiful dresses from year to year. However, I cannot hide that my favorite is the costume of the 2017-2018 free program.
What did this sport teach you?
I am a skater who started out individually. So I learned a lot about teamwork and that if the energies are put in the same place, we can accomplish great things together.
What advice can you give to the younger generation?
I encourage them to discover this sport. A sport so close to figure skating but at the same time so far, a sport where we create friendships and bonds for life and where we live unforgettable experiences. I would advise however to continue to skate alone as well. Having ice time to practice skating skills, turns and twizzles is important. In a big team there are excellent skaters. At the speed that the difficulty of synchro is increasing, each skater must make sure to be strong individually first.
Do you have any rituals before the competition?
For me there is no question that I put on my left shoe before the one on the right. The left is always the first, otherwise I have to start all over again. In addition, in competition I always change in the toilets even if in training I change in the locker room without any problem. In competition I need this little moment there to be alone and refocus on myself.
When you enter on the ice, when you hear the speaker announce your team’s name, what do you think?
I often do not hear the name of the team. I'm so focused on my blades and trying to feel the ice that I forget to listen. When my teammates make the presentation it surprises me every time. I follow them at that moment, continuing like them. As you can see I'm not stressed at all;)
Nova Senior Team
Tell us about your skaters.
We are a wonderful team of 18 skaters. The ages vary between 17 and 27 years old. We are fortunate to have 2 male skaters with us this year. We all come from very different backgrounds. Some of us come from dance, some from freestyle and of course, some have skated synchro from the beginning. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses which makes us a very diverse team. We are trained by Marie-France Sirois. We may be a skilled group of skaters, but without her we would never be the team we are. Her dedication, her enthusiasm, and her passion for this sport is transmitted to us every day and without her great knowledge and expertise we would not be at the level we are today. She is also surrounded by different specialists who each bring us a lot of things in their own way; Stephanie Savois, Julien Lalonde, Joanie Papillon and Nadine Tougas.
What is your goal this season?
We definitely want a place at the World Championship.
There are many teams in Canada, what makes Nova unique?
I think we stand out for our originality and the quality of our programs. Every year we are able to innovate and present different & interesting programs. I also believe that Nova offers the opportunity to skate at a high level and be competitive but also to have a life outside of the skating rink. Many of our skaters are full-time students. We even have a skater completing her Ph.D.
Canada & Synchro
What help do you receive for your programs?
The Quebec federation organises several seminars and monitoring sessions with various specialists during the season. This allows us to have different perspectives on our programs before we perform them in competition.
According to you, how is the sport developing in Canada?
I think there are still prejudices about this sport. Whether individual or dance, skaters are not really aware of the reality of synchro and how much the discipline has changed in recent years. However, we see many new teams every year which is very encouraging for the new generation.
Thank you to Elizabeth Morin for being our "Woman of the Week". The Nova Senior free program is available here:
Next week "The Woman Of The Week" will be a little different ... ;-)
Article by Remo De Tomi
Photography by Elizabeth Morin
Editing by Catherine Ruta & Katie Melsky