by Jennifer Swartz
The 2013 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships will once again be returning to the United States, taking place from April 3-6, 2013 on Boston University’s campus. This will be the third time the World Championships will be held in the U.S. since the competition began in 2000 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The World Championships took place in the U.S. for the second time in 2010 in Colorado Springs.
The excitement will begin on the morning of Wednesday, April 3rd, when skaters from around the world will take the ice in Boston University’s Walker Brown Arena for unofficial practice and in Agganis Arena for official practice. The competition will begin on Friday, April 5th with the short program.
Representing the U.S. are the Haydenettes of Lexington, Massachusetts (Team USA 1) and Miami University of Oxford, Ohio (Team USA 2). The Haydenettes won the title of U.S. Champions for the 21st time, and Miami University reclaimed their place on the world team with their performances at the 2013 U.S. National Championships in Plymouth, Michigan. Two U.S. teams are eligible to compete at the World Championships because the U.S. was one of the top five ISU Members in 2012 (SWE, CAN, USA, FIN, RUS). Team USA will face competition from 18 other teams representing 15 countries: Australia, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, and Sweden.
This year’s international competitions illustrated just how stiff the competition will be. Team Unique (Team Finland 1) had a clear lead in the French Cup, with a score of 214.58 that gave them over an 8.32 edge over their competition. Paradise (Team Russia 1) and the Rockettes—who did not qualify for this year’s World Championships—followed, earning the silver and bronze medal respectively. Marigold (Team Finland 2) placed fourth behind the Rockettes, proving how competitive synchronized skating is in Finland. Team Surprise (Team Sweden 1) led the Spring Cup with a score of 172.45, followed by Team Berlin 1 (Team Germany 1) and Hot Shivers (Italy).
The World Championships will be the second international competition of the season for the Haydenettes and Miami University. The Haydenettes competed at the French Cup in Rouen, France, finishing 7th out of 16 teams behind the Finns, Canadians, and Team Paradise (Team Russia 1). Miami University competed at the Leon Lurje Trophy finishing 3rd out of five. Team USA looks to improve on last year’s placements of third and 11th at the World Championships.
Miami University was the first U.S. team to make the podium in 2007 in London, Canada, earning a silver medal. The Haydenettes have made their way onto the podium for the past three consecutive years, earning three bronze medals.
The fact that the World Championships is held in Boston makes this year’s competition particularly special for both teams. Miami University has competed in the World Championships nine times, but never in the U.S.; competing in their home country will undoubtedly be an exciting experience. The Haydenettes, based in the Boston-area, will compete in the World Championships on their own turf, something they will never forget.