She will give her name to a stage of the Challenger Series


Marie Lundmark (on the right) and the Adult team Aura Aboensis from Turku. (Credits: Ville Vairinen / Sari Niskanen / Finnish Skating Association - 2020)

Held in Turku (FIN) from 14 to 17 January 2021, the first-ever Finnish Synchronized Skating Challenger Series event will be called "Marie Lundmark Trophy". The name has been chosen to honor Marie Lundmark’s determined work for Finnish and international synchronized skating.

"I’m feeling so honored and I am speechless to express my feelings at this moment. I want to express my warm thanks to the Finnish Figure Skating Association," reacted Marie Lundmark after the decision a few days ago.

For the president of the Finnish Figure Skating Association Laura Raitio, naming this important event after Marie Lundmark felt a natural choice. "Marie Lundmark’s accomplishments in the development of the sport both nationally and internationally are indisputable. We did not want to miss the unique opportunity to name this, hopefully long-running, event after her," she said.

Marie Lundmark, involved since the very beginning of the sport
Marie Lundmark started her figure skating career as a single skater and ice dancer. After finishing her studies at the Technical University, she got a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering and worked at the Research Institute, she was missing Figure Skating very much. She decided to come back and she continued her career as a coach, judge and, after that referee. She was President of the Finnish Figure Skating Association twice and a Board Member of the Finnish Olympic Committee.

Marie Lundmark became involved in the development of synchro when the sport arrived in Finland from the USA in the mid-1980s. In 1994 she was elected to the International Skating Union’s (ISU) first Synchronized Skating Technical Committee, the goal of which was to bring the sport to a World Championship level. Since 2002, she has been developing synchro in the ISU Council and she continues to push the discipline to become Olympic.

The Junior team Dream Edges is part of the Kaarinan Taitoluistelijat skating club. (Credits: Ville Vairinen - 2020)

"My work in different disciplines of Figure Skating has been rewarding and I have always enjoyed the many tasks and challenges within the sport. Over the years I have had the pleasure of working with nice people only. All these people, I have met, have helped me to make my dreams come true; Synchronized Skating has long been a World Championship sport and now we also have Challenger Series competitions. However, one dream is yet to come true, to make Synchronized Skating an Olympic sport!" continues Marie Lundmark.

"We welcome the teams to Turku"
This Challenger Series event will be hosted by the Finnish Figure Skating Association with local support from the Kaarinan Taitoluistelijat skating club and the city of Turku. 

"It is great that the ISU granted this internationally appreciated synchronized skating competition to the Finnish Figure Skating Association. We are also happy that we can stage this event in Turku, the location of which between land and sea, on the coast of the Baltic Sea, will surely be an excellent destination even for international synchro fans," Laura Raitio says.

"We are happy that we get to implement a grand sports event through national and regional collaboration. The synchronized skating competition completes the selection of high-level international sports events. We welcome the teams to Turku and invite them to visit not only our city but also the magnificent wintry archipelago within our region," adds Antti Kirkkola, city's liaison manager. 

The first Marie Lundmark Trophy will be the 4th stage of the Synchronized Skating Challenger Series 2020/21. The competition, which will let Junior and Senior ISU teams earn precious points, will take place from January 14 to 17, 2021.