The most important part of your day tomorrow will be from 3-6 PM (EDT), when CBC broadcasts coverage of the 2011 World Synchronized Skating Championships. It looks like it’s going to be shown online too, which may be good news for non-Canadian residents. Spread the word!
The bad news: we have to wait one more week to see Worlds televised on CBC. The good news: it looks like they’ve extended the broadcast by an hour, so we’ll get three hours of coverage instead of two! Well done, CBC.
The CBC website is currently showing conflicting start times. One page indicates the broadcast will begin at 4:30 PM and another displays 3:00 PM. The time zone calculator seems to be having a bit of an identity crisis as well, but hopefully we’ll have a confirmed broadcast time in the near future. I’ll be keeping my eye on this page and Twitter for updates. Stay tuned.
Articles and photos from Worlds have been springing up around the web since the competition ended yesterday. I’ll update this post as I find more. Here’s a start:
- Rockettes capture synchro world title – Icenetwork
- Gold and silver for Finland, bronze for United States – WSSC official site
- Team Finland 1 takes gold at the ISU WSSC 2011 – ISU
- World Synchro Championships 2011 – Photography by Tomas Whitehouse
- Shooting Synchro Skating WC 2011 – Tech Tips – Photography by Kari Kuukka
- Nexxice and Les Suprêmes finish 5th and 6th… – Skate Canada
- Canada is trailblazer in synchro skating – PJ Kwong’s blog
UPDATED April 22: link to PJ’s blog
Rockettes (FIN1) successfully defended their title as World Champions today, a feat no team has managed to achieve since Team Surprise (SWE1) did it way back in 2000 and 2001. It was also the first time the entire podium has been identical at back-to-back championships, with Marigold Ice Unity (FIN2) repeating as silver medalists, and the Haydenettes (USA1) earning their second consecutive bronze medal.
Full results, including protocols, are here. A few interesting facts:
- In the free skate, the top 5 teams all earned the same technical base value, though no team received all their calls.
- FIN2 and USA1 both were both given deductions for a late start in the free (teams must begin skating within 10 seconds of the music starting). Neither deduction affected the overall results, though FIN2 would have won the free program portion without it.
- For the first time, the top 10 was made up entirely of teams from countries who had 2 entries at Worlds. This was true for all segments of the competition.
- There has still never been a team from any country other than Finland, Sweden, Canada, or USA on the podium at Worlds. Finland has won 16 medals to date, Sweden 10, Canada 7, and USA 3.
- Finland is the only country to have had two teams on the podium at Worlds–and they’ve done it an impressive 5 times in 12 championships (2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, and 2011).
- Finland has only been shut out of the medals once, in 2007. That year, Sweden, USA, and Canada were on the podium.
- No team has ever won more than two consecutive World Championships. If Rockettes can win gold again next year, it will be the first three-peat. (Team Surprise did, however, win back-to-back World Challenge Cups in 1998 and 1999, followed by a victory at the first ISU World Championships in 2000.)
I couldn’t be there in person this year, and sadly, there was no live feed available outside Finland. Twitter was hopping though, and updates are still coming in from around the globe tagged #SynchroWorlds. In Canada (and perhaps some border cities/states), you can watch the CBC broadcast next Saturday, April 16, from 4-6 PM (EDT).
I’ll likely have some more thoughts after videos start to surface, and I have a chance to scrutinize the protocols further. Congratulations to all the competitors. Though for many of you it will be brief, enjoy your off-season!
TSN, Canada’s largest sports network, spotlights synchro in Chandler to make history when he steps on ice for Canada.
Seeing the extra media attention Nexxice has garnered since adding a male to the roster raises some interesting thoughts about gender issues in sports. Historically (and anecdotally–my days of citing sources and compiling bibliographies are long over), sports stories addressing gender have been focused on females joining male teams or competing in male-dominated sports–and the chiefly negative reactions to such scenarios. The difference here is obviously that figure skating is still seen as a “girl’s sport” by the greater population. Thus, the perceived threat to global masculinity is arguably diminished. Nevertheless, Nexxice has set an admirable example for other organizations with the professionalism they’ve displayed in embracing this change and its positive effects.
A topic worthy of further exploration for someone working on a project or thesis about gender roles in sports, perhaps. You can thank me in your valedictory speech. 😉