Today was to have been the culmination of the last year’s worth of hard work for the teams who qualified to compete at the 2020 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships in Lake Placid, USA. The unfortunate (but understandable) cancellation of the event due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic left thousands of people — not least of all, the skaters — heartbroken to miss out on the chance to experience these wonderful programs one last time.
But, as the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” To help fill the gap left by the event’s cancellation, teams from around the globe came together to create a Virtual Worlds on Youtube — complete with promo videos for teams, opening ceremonies, and a virtual draw.
Though it’s not exactly the same as watching (or streaming) it live, it’s impossible not to admire the creative teamwork required to bring this digital event together. And there’s no better time to sit back, relax, and enjoy some skating videos, than when you’re at home distancing yourself from the outside world.
Medals were awarded today at the 2018 World Synchronized Skating Championships, marking the end of the 2017-18 season. Finland’s Marigold Ice Unity were crowned champions, winning their first gold medal since 2014. Skating in their home country, Sweden’s Team Surprise won the silver medal, reclaiming a spot on the podium after last medaling (gold) in 2012. Two-time defending champions Paradise, from Russia, fell from the top step but remained on the podium for the fourth year running, taking home the bronze medal. Full results are available here.
If you missed watching the live stream, you can find videos of all the short and free programs on the ISU Skating Channel. (In the USA, watch on Ice Network.) For ease of navigation, here are the groups. (more…)
Earlier today, the ISU live-streamed their Synchronized Skating Technical Committee Annual Meeting with Coaches from the World Championships in Stockholm. The one key takeaway? There could be some big changes coming, pending approval of these proposals at Congress. If you didn’t catch the live stream, you can still watch the approximately one-hour broadcast here (note that the audio doesn’t begin until 8:56):
Presentation topics included:
The number of skaters required for Championships
New penalties, including for falls and violating call to start rules
A renewed focus on encouraging skating as a team unit (not as 16 individuals)
Rules to discourage excessive posing and theatrics
New maximum program lengths
Overview of new and revised elements, with a focus on encouraging creativity
Overview of the new GOE range
This was an amazing opportunity for a worldwide audience to get early insight into upcoming changes. Thanks to the ISU for making this broadcast available!