From inauguration to end-of-the-season hockey games, these are the annual traditions of ISU Senior teams


Ice Fire Senior from Poland and Les Suprêmes Senior from Canada have various traditions and team activities during the season. (Credits: Ice Fire / Les Suprêmes)

In this article, we discuss skating traditions from the welcoming of new team members to annual team hangouts and competition superstitions. We asked for skaters input and got answers from 15 different ISU Senior teams from Montreal to Milan.

The synchronized skating competition season is already taking off but for now, let’s go back to the beginning of the season. Most senior teams have started their training season somewhere between end of April and beginning of June; however, there is usually some time for a summer break in either June or July. Some of the teams stated, then, that the season officially starts in August. “Each season we try to start our trainings in June but, we officially start around 20th [of] August,” said Team Fusion from Spain.

Inauguration traditions to welcome the new team members vary from funny games and quizzes to giving gifts or performing a ‘baptism’. Ice Fire Senior, which trains in Gdansk, Poland, told us that “during our annual summer camp we do [a] thing called ‘chrzest’, which is [a] baptism to become a member of the team”. 

Team Inspire from Landvetter, Sweden, combines teambuilding with physical activity and family time: “We gather in various locations like parks, beaches or lakes where we combine physical training with team-building exercises, which is an excellent and appreciated way for us to connect with our new team members. During one of those practices, we make it a point to invite our parents to a pentathlon, with the main goal of having a good time together.”

Team Inspire from Sweden at their summer camp. (Credits: Team Inspire)

Teams highlighted that these are fun and friendly occasions. The purpose is often to go through the team’s rules together and give new members their team clothing. A few teams said they don’t have anything to initiate the new season but prefer to introduce new members into the team slowly. Some preferred to keep their traditions a secret from the new generation of skaters to come. 

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Other traditions celebrated
After the inauguration, teams have multiple other traditions throughout the season as well. Most traditional of these are casual get-togethers, which usually involve delicious food. For example, Les Zoulous from Lyon, France, has a big raclette party every winter and Starlight Elite from Zurich, Switzerland, a fondue party right before Christmas. The Finnish Helsinki Rockettes opts for ice cream or tortillas. Additionally, the team has a cute habit to finish each day:

“After every practice we say together, “thank you for this day, it was nice”. Teams tend to celebrate birthdays or holidays such as Halloween or Christmas together with festive habits, gift-giving through ‘Secret Santa’ or an advent calendar being the most popular ones. Those traditions are kept up by Team Passion Hungary from Budapest as well: “We are always celebrating Christmas together and before that, we are counting back together by one person bringing small gifts to the team [every day] since 1st [of] December.”

Team Berlin 1 (GER) at New Year's training. (Credits: TB1 - 2022)

Additionally, Les Suprêmes Senior, training in Montreal, Canada, has a pyjama practice on the morning of Christmas Eve. On New Year’s Eve, members of Olympia from Prague, Czech Republic FaceTime everyone together to ring in the new year. 

Hot Shivers from Milan, Italy revealed their habits with annual nomenclature: “Every year we change the name that we use to call each other, it’s always something funny and specific of that year’s team.” We can only wonder what this season’s team is called. 

Multiple teams also had traditions to end the season; for example, Germany’s own Team Berlin 1 told us that they end it with a hockey game.

Pre-competition traditions
Pre-competition traditions have special importance, and usually focus on fun. All teams prepare with particular songs, dances, games, and shouts. Many hold viewings before competitions, especially the Worlds.

In addition to making noise, positivity is also kept up with gifts, souvenirs, or talismans. Team Unique from Helsinki, Finland, wears similar necklaces at each competition. Some teams rely on superstition. “We touch the door frame on our way out of the changing room if it is wooden,” told Icicles Senior from Great Britain.  

United Angels from Germany also knock on wood for good luck. In addition, they like to make sure the team is united in spirit before stepping on ice: “We do breathe together [by] lifting our arms up and down.” Other teams rely on something else to get their spirits up. Skating Graces, a team from Chemnitz, Germany, told us that, “We eat a small piece of lemon before we exit the cabin before our competition skates.”

We wish all of the teams a very successful competition season!