Who was Dr. Porter, the man who is considered the father of synchro?
Dr. Richard Porter, father of the Hockettes, became a legend in the world of synchronized skating. (Credits: US Figure Skating - Sean McKinnon)
For US skaters and fans, Dr. Porter means the competitive season is in full swing. Indeed, the Porter Classic is one of the most famous synchro events in the USA. But who was the Dr. Porter who gave it its name?
One day, while watching a group of young girls choreograph step sequences and movements together, he thought it might be interesting to put together a joint program that could be performed during break time at Ann Arbor hockey games. The idea was similar to cheerleading or gymnastics, but on the ice, it did not exist (yet!).
Creation of the famous Hockettes
With 24 skaters in the "group", the Hockettes were born. This team remains the oldest synchro team and has become a legend. As U.S. Figure Skating reports, Porter's wife Pat made the distinctive navy blue dresses with the "M" attached with adhesive on the front.
Gradually, the team grew to include more and more skaters and "precision skating" became known throughout the United States. Dr. Richard Porter's name became known internationally through the competition that bears his name and marks the annual U.S. synchronized skating season.
In 2023, the Porter Classic will be held December 1-3. Mark your calendars!