Top teams in the world set to compete at London SynchroFest International

It’s a great week to be involved in synchro in Canada.

The synchro community is still buzzing after news broke only a few days ago that the 2013 and 2014 National Championships will both be hosted in Western Canada. Hopefully everyone still has some excitement left in the tank, because there’s a big event to get revved up about in the more immediate future–in less than a week, some of the top teams in the world will be in Ontario to compete for $50,000 in prize money, the biggest purse ever awarded in synchro, at the 2011 London SynchroFest International December 28 and 29.

And the best news of all, for those of us who can’t be there–live streaming! Thanks Santa!

Quick links for next week:

The eight teams entered from Canada, Finland, Japan, Russia, and the United States share 13 world championship medals between them, including the four most recent golds (no big deal). Entries, and brief resumes, are as follows:

  • Rockettes (FIN) – 2008, 2010, and 2011 World Champions
  • Haydenettes (USA) – 2010 and 2011 World Bronze Medalists
  • Crystallettes (USA) – Former World competitors
  • Nexxice (CAN) – 2009 World Champions, 5th in 2011
  • Les Supremes (CAN) – 2003 World Bronze Medalists, 6th in 2011
  • Fusion (CAN) – Former World competitors
  • Paradise (RUS) – 7th at the 2011 World Championships
  • Jingu Ice Messengers (JPN) – 12th at the 2011 World Championships

To my recollection, the last high-profile international competition (excluding World Championships) to be held in North America was the North American International in Orlando in 2001, and you have to go back at least a handful of years further to recall the last time an International was held in Canada. So this has been a long time coming, and in my opinion, is made that much sweeter thanks to both the inclusion of prize money and the outstanding roster of competitors. While eight teams may seem like a small number when it comes to international events, the quality of skating is sure to make up for it. It’s somewhat uncommon for this many strong teams with such impressive pedigrees to meet this early in the season, so we should be in for a great show.

Local skaters and coaches can also participate in a skills seminar that will run in conjunction with the competition, to be conducted by top international coaches and officials. The addition of this kind of seminar to an event of this calibre is not just a fantastic opportunity for the athletes involved, it also reflects a commendable effort by Skate Canada to continue to grow and develop the sport at an elite level. More details about the seminar can be found here.

The fun gets underway Wednesday, December 28, with practices beginning at 11:00AM (EST) at the John Labatt Centre. The official schedule is available here, but here’s a snapshot (all times Eastern):

Wednesday, December 28

  • 11:00AM-12:40PM – Short Program Practice
  • 7:00PM-8:25PM – Short Program Competition

Thursday, December 29

  • 12:00PM-2:20PM – Free Program Practice
  • 7:00PM-8:40PM – Free Program Competition

I don’t know about the rest of you, but while children everywhere are counting down to Christmas morning, I’ll be counting down to this. Happy holidays!

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