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After their trip to Finland, these Canadian skaters are ready for new challenges


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Gold Ice on the Marie Lundmark Trophy's Kiss & Cry. (Sari Niksanen - 2022)

They were the only team to cross the Atlantic Ocean to compete last weekend. Gold Ice Junior from Ontario, Canada, also took advantage of the trip to Finland to train a few days before the competition. What did they do? And how did they experience the trip as a team? Interview with the head coach, Andrea Nesbitt.

Andrea Nesbitt, you came back a few days ago from a trip to Finland where your junior team competed at the Marie Lundmark Trophy. How are you feeling?

We are so proud of these athletes and we are feeling incredibly grateful that we were able to have this experience.  

What did you think of your team's performances last weekend?

Given our training circumstances, where we were unable to train indoors on full sized ice rinks for 2 weeks prior to leaving, we are very proud of our performances. That being said, we didn't have the performances that we had hoped for and we know that this team is capable of so much more. There were points left on the table and we are excited to continue working hard for the remainder of the season.


You spent several days in Finland before the competition and enjoyed training in a few different ice rinks. Tell us more about your program...

Yes we had the chance to skate at the beautiful Espoo Metro Areena for a few days prior to leaving for Turku. It's a gorgeous facility and the staff was so helpful and accommodating! We wish we could have had more time there.


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Our programs this year show two very different sides of this team. Our short set to Madcon's version of Beggin' is playful, sassy and fun. We love that it shows off a more powerful side of our skating as well. Partway through this season we made a change in our Free Program to music from the Addams Family. Our skaters love being able to portray Morticia Addams on the ice.

Back in Canada, how will you be able to continue practicing? What are the current situation and restrictions? 

While we were away we got word that our ice rinks in Ontario will be once again opening on January 31st. We will take a short break to rest and are looking forward to getting back on the ice at our home arena as we train hard for the remainder of the season! Our Novice and Intermediate teams have been spending time on outdoor arenas over the past few weeks as well so they are also excited to get back inside! 

"We are very proud of our athletes for standing up and using their voices to affect change"
Several regional and national media organization have been interested in synchronized skating recently because the Ontario teams could not train anymore. Do you think this media coverage will help to change things? 

It was amazing to see so many media outlets pick up this story. Synchronized Skaters are a passionate group! We are very proud of our athletes for standing up and using their voices to affect change. Unfortunately it didn't help our particular case, however we hope that this is only the start in bringing more attention to our sport! 

In your opinion, how can synchronized skating be more recognized, and be considered an elite sport in Canada? 

In Ontario, the definition of elite sport includes sports on the "Olympic" or "Youth Olympic" track only. Unfortunately with Synchronized Skating not yet being an Olympic Sport we are not included in this definition. 


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Gold Ice Junior in Turku, Finland, last week. (Credits: Patricia Payne - 2022)

The government needs to work hand in hand with nationally and provincially sanctioned sports organizations to ensure they have a better understanding and knowledge of these organizations athletes and their level of training and competitive opportunities. Personal sports that attend International and world championships should be considered elite. 

What are the next competitions for your teams? 

We are picking up where we left off and are excited for competitions to resume here in Ontario and Canada. First up we have the Ontario Regional Synchronized Skating Championships which our Novice, Intermediate and Junior teams will be attending in order to qualify for the National Championships.

After that there is the Junior World Championships selection which is being done at a monitoring session with a panel of officials this year. Finally we are so excited to be traveling to Calgary, Alberta for the 2022 Skate Canada National Synchronized Skating Championships at the end of February.


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(Credits: Patricia Payne - 2022)

A final word on the Canadian National Championships: what will be your goal with your teams? 

It's certainly been an unconventional season, however from the very start we made the decision to take things week by week and appreciate every opportunity. Our goals as a team are to focus on what we can control and to put out strong and confident performances. There is nothing better than coming off the ice with a feeling of satisfaction knowing you did all that you can do, and typically that leads to strong results.

For Novice, coming in as reigning national champions is a great honor which we are proud of. They have an exciting program and have their sights set on another podium performance. This season we have a brand new Intermediate team and they are looking forwards to their first national championship.

Our Junior team is incredibly passionate and competitive. They have been working so hard over these past two years with a goal of getting back on the National Podium and they are excited to show Canada what they are capable of.