Camilla Sundgren (MIU): "It's time for me to turn a new page in life"
Camilla Sundgren finished her synchro career as one of the greatest team captains by winning the World Championships in 2018, and two silver medals in 2017 and 2019.
Like every spring, new athletes are entering the sport, and familiar faces in synchronized skating are finishing their careers. Captain of the team Marigold IceUnity (2018 World Champions) for several years, Camilla Sundgren looks back on her career.
You’re finishing your career this season. First of all, how do you feel?
Camilla Sundgren: I'm very thankful for being given the chance to skate in MIU and be a part of this amazing team and sport that has given me more than I could’ve ever imagined.
On the other hand, I think wistfully that this is -and will probably for some time be- very strange not to go to practise together with the team several times a week and do all the routines I’ve been used to do for almost all my life. Despite the mixed feelings I have, deep inside I know this was the right decision to make. I believe it is a natural process everyone goes through when letting go of something important. This is life-changing but I’m lucky to have a supporting family and supporting friends to whom I can rely on every step of the way.
Of course. It is a huge and hard decision to make. Letting go of something that has been a big part of your identity your whole life is not easy. Getting used to not being part of such a special team and family like Marigold IceUnity and everything that has to do with it will certainly take time. Since we can’t, at least yet, be professionals in our sport we have to at some point start to focus more on our studies and future careers. I have always given everything to the team and skating and I knew that as long as I feel the fire inside me I will continue skating. I trusted that I will know when the right moment to end my career will be. Now it is time for me to turn a new page in life.
I have many fantastic and unforgettable memories with MIU throughout the years. World Championships in 2017, 2018 and 2019 are of course very special memories. I will also cherish the memories of the daily routine of practicing with the team. It is one of the greatest feelings when you at the end of the day know you’ve given it all you’ve got and you have the whole team there supporting each other. But if I’d have to choose one memory it would probably be winning the World Championships 2018 in Globen, Stockholm.
I started skating in our club, Helsingin Luistelijat in 2001. First as a single skater but already at the age of 7, I switched to synchro. I fell in love with synchro right away because of the feeling of unity with the teammates I got. First I skated in a team called ”Emmit” which is called ”Sunflowers” today. Emmit wasn’t competing at all at the time and I skated there for approximately 2 years. Then I got into our juvenile team where I skated for three years. After that, I skated in our advanced novice team Starlights for three years and in our junior team Musketeers also for three years.
I have always been very fortunate to have the best coaches and teammates with me and I have learned many important things and qualities during the years. Things like respect and consideration for others, persistence, and determination, responsibility, teamwork, positive attitude, humor and leadership I could say are features that synchro, our skating club and especially MIU has taught me among other things. These are valuable qualities for the rest of my life.
Do you think you will miss synchronized skating? Are you thinking about staying involved in the sport?
I will, of course, miss everything that has to do with this sport. Most of all I will miss the feeling of belonging in a community and family like MIU has been to me all these years. Being part of a team where everyone is 100% involved and wants to give everything they’ve got every day towards pursuing the dreams has been very special. I also believe synchro will always be a part of me and I would love to stay involved in the sport in some way. Time will tell how, where and when.
Due to the current coronavirus situation, I will enjoy the company of my own family, my dog, facetime with friends, focus on my studies in political science and public law in the University of Helsinki and do different kinds of home exercises. It is important to remember that everyone needs not only to take responsibility for themselves but for others too during these exceptional times.
I hope everyone is doing well. Remember to remain positive-minded, together we can overcome the exceptional situation and return to do what we love the most!
The best of luck to everyone to the new season 2020-2021!