Marigold IceUnity in full speed towards the upcoming season despite the pandemic


Marigold IceUnity finished 2nd last season at the 2019-2020 Challenger Series. (Credits: Kirsi Laine Photography - 2019)

The famous Finnish senior team Marigold IceUnity is actively preparing for the upcoming season, even though the coronavirus is still leaving a lot of uncertainty. Head coach Anu Oksanen explained to the Finnish Skating Association how her team is doing.

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"If a competition is cancelled, we will look to the next," said Anu Oksanen in an interesting interview for the Finnish Ice Skating Association. 

"The coronavirus has made the future unpredictable, but the situation in Finland is still good and I hope it will remain reasonable," the famous coach continued.

For a few months now, Marigold IceUnity is training normally, focusing on the essentials. This season, the goal is still to win the gold medal at the World Championships.

Skating and studying
Even though the team narrowly missed the World Championships' spot at the end of last season, Marigold IceUnity is fully preparing the new season. "The team has already risen the level of their skills," enthuses Anu Oksanen.

This season, 20 skaters will be skating in the senior team. The new team members are all coming from the club's own juniors, even though, according to Anu, there were offers from abroad. 

In the Finnish Figure Skating Association's interview, Anu explains that there would have been many more junior skaters whose skills would have been sufficient for seniors. Therefore, Anu regrets that not all of them want to continue after the junior stage because some athletes want to invest in studies.

However, Anu thinks that skating does not preclude studying, like many skaters in their example show and have shown. "I know that many will regret later after leaving the game," comments the coach.

Marigold IceUnity will have 20 skaters this year. (Credits: Kirsi Laine Photography - 2019)

For this upcoming season, Anu Oksanen has put together an intensive team of coaches, which includes Maikki Uotila-Kraatz, Tiina Pesonen, Marika Leutola-Tarvonen and Katariina Luotonen, who returned to the club for the beginning of the season.

Maikki has been Anu's partner in creating choreographies for years and the other three members of the staff are ex-Marigolds.

According to the Finnish Figure Skating Association, Anu expects that the new coaching team will bring out the best in the team.

MIU's new programs
In the article, Anu Oksanen gave also the first hints about MIU's new programs. "The short program is emotional. It combines slow and fast rhythms and creates movement with beautiful and lyrical music," writes the Finnish Association in the article.

After the Notre-Dame inspired free program last season, Anu promises once again "power and momentum" in the new free program.

Each season, Marigold and Musketeers (the Junior team) Free Skates are created at the Kuortane summer camps. "The camp is an important step in building both the team and the programs. The Kuortane Olympic Training Center as a place is good for creative work because in that environment there is an opportunity to focus on making programs," Anu says.

Discover the original article (in Finnish) from the Finnish Figure Skating Association.