"I never thought I would have to cross out my last U.S. Synchro Skating Championships."


Adrian College Varsity SST (USA) at Zagreb Snowflakes Trophy (Credits: Ru-Pho - 2020)

On December 9, 2020, U.S. Figure Skating released a statement announcing the cancellation of the 2021 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships and Challenge, a pivotal moment in the careers of many graduating high school and college seniors.

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The perspective of a graduating college senior: Tara Tahil
Hitting my ending pose, soaking up applause from a crowd of 2,000 fans, and searching for my parents celebrating in the audience at the 2021 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships was how I imagined the finale of my competitive synchronized skating career.

This season has not been what anyone had expected. As a graduating college senior, although the cancellation of the 2021 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships was not entirely a surprise, it still shattered my dream of what my final competitive performance would be.

Adrian College Varsity SST Collegiate (Credits: MidwestSynchroPhoto - 2018)

Last year, when I stepped on the ice at the U.S. Synchro Champs to compete our senior free skate, I was filled with anticipation, nerves, and excitement. Turning back the clock almost four years ago, I felt the same way when I stepped on campus at Adrian College. I was apprehensive, like many incoming freshmen, but eager to start my college career at my new home.

I couldn’t wait for the endeavors I was to embark on as a skater and as a student. Throughout the free skate, I focused on one element at a time, then mentally checked it off and breathed. 

For the past three years, my life has been a daily checklist: skate, workout, school, repeat. Every day, I check off class, practice, meals, and activities from my list and cross out anything that I don’t have to tackle.

I never thought I would have to cross out my last U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships. Before tackling that final element of the free skate last year, I told myself: “This is it. One more element, give it everything you got.

Senior year feels like the last element of a senior free skate. Some people can’t wait for it to end, while others want to live in that moment forever.

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I’ll never forget the first time I heard the announcer say, “Representing Adrian College, Adrian College Varsity.”

I knew in that moment; the start of my dreams had come true. I haven’t looked back since. It’s difficult for me to accept that I will never stand on competition ice, surrounded by teammates, and hear those words again. If I had known that my last competition was in February of 2020, I would have let those six words sink in a little deeper.

Adrian College Varsity SST at French Cup (Credits: Skate Synchro photo - 2019)

I’m grateful that even in a pandemic, the passion that synchronized skaters have will never die. I still have the opportunity to see my teammates while walking to class, share a locker room with them and skate, eat meals together outside, and meet over Zoom when we aren’t all together.

Creating lifelong friendships with my teammates is one of the best parts of being a synchronized skater and is why I have continued to be a part of this community for fifteen years. Coming to practice everyday to do what we love and laugh together is my passion, and it has been my life.

(Credits: Adrian College Varsity SST - 2018)

My message to the next generation of skaters is to soak up every moment during your career because you never know when it will end. Take as many pictures as possible, listen to the sound of the announcer as they introduce your team before the music begins, and cherish every moment with your teammates.

Focus on what you can control. Stay present, not in what the future holds or what could have been, but in the current moment because every moment in your synchronized skating career is special.

- Tara Tahil, member of Adrian College Varsity and U.S. correspondent for Jura Synchro