The life of a synchro skater... under the eye of the cinema cameras!


1 min and 24 secs to show how amazing synchronized skating is. Sofie Ekstrom-Gabb, a member of Team Icicles Senior who trains in Nottingham, UK has been chosen by a production company from Cardiff to be the subject of a video clip. The aim goal was to show an unusual sport practiced by a Welsh sportswoman. She shares with us her experience on the set.

Who is Sofie?

Sofie Ekstrom-Gabb is a 19 years old synchro skater from Cardiff, Wales, Great Britain. She has been skating since the age of 7, competing in many disciplines of skating. However, she joined her first synchro team at the age of 14 in her local ice rink and is currently in her second season with Team Icicles who train in Nottingham, Great Britain.

"Since joining the team I have made life long friends who I am so lucky to have met let alone travel the world while making so many amazing memories. Continuing from our success of 18/19 season where we were lucky enough to represent our country of Great Britain in the World Synchronised Skating Championships in Finland," added Sofie.

The video shooting

A Cardiff based production company (Storm and Shelter) approached her as they wanted to make a short film about “What it takes” to be a female elite athlete. They started filming the project around October 2018 up until January 2019 when the final scenes were shot live during the British National Championships.

"We drank lots of coffee"

"It was an incredible and eye opening experience to see how much hard work and dedication goes into making a short film such as mine. We filmed over 5 days working long hours to be able to incorporate every aspect in the day of the life of a Synchronised Ice Skater. The project started off as a storyboard and evolved into such an inspirational video and I can’t thank them enough. Ps, we drank lots of coffee too!" explained the skater.

What It Takes from Storm & Shelter on Vimeo.

What started off a project for publicity for the production company ended up being an inspirational and personal project for Sofie to show other young athletes like herself that anything is possible with dedication, hard work and doing “whatever it takes”. "I am so overwhelmed with all the response it has already got, it’s crazy to think how powerful one video can be. This made the video so real as it required no acting! It was amazing for them to be able to capture the real highs and lows of competitions," said the young athlete.

A crazy experience

"I absolutely loved every part of the filming as it was such a crazy experience. However, the best memory for me was feeling like a real life movie star having camera crews and vans filling up my street at 5 am to get all the best shots and scenes. It was so surreal seeing the lighting rigs set up outside my bedroom window lighting up the whole street," continued Sofie.

The hardest part during the shooting was the scene where she had to “fake” fall to portray the real life lows of an athlete. "However, it was worth all the bruises I gained after shooting this scene over and over again to get the perfect fall."

Team Icicles will compete this weekend

"This season our team is looking to not only improve ourselves but our scores throughout the season. We hope to retain our title as British Championships which will then lead us into another year of representing our country in this season World Synchronised Skating Championships, held Lake Placid USA," commented Sofie. This season, Team Icicles' Short Program is particularly moving because the performance is dedicated to one of their team managers who has recently fought her battle with cancer.

Where to see Team Icicles Senior?

This season the British team will take part in numerous competitions. After Lumière Cup in Eindhoven late last year, they are now heading to the Britannia Cup this weekend, the French Cup, the Steel Trophy and maybe the World Championships in April if they qualify.

"Good Luck to all team who are competing this current season. Myself and my team hope to see some of you around! I personally cannot wait to skate alongside my favourite team, Haydenettes this weekend at the Britannia Cup!", said Sofie... the new movie star!