by Taylor Kennedy
On December 12th, five synchronized skating teams took the ice at the Grand Prix Final in Barcelona, Spain for the first time. This much-anticipated event did not disappoint as five of the best teams in the world competed their free programs much earlier in the season than years past.
Skating to music from Carmen, Russia’s Team Paradise claimed the top spot with a technical score of 57.50 and a program component score of 73.59 for a total score of 131.09. Rockettes of Finland skated an incredibly intricate “Rocket to the Moon” program; which landed them in second place. They received a technical score of 55.83 and a program component score of 73.33. After receiving a 1.5 deduction for a non-permitted element they ended with a total score of 127.66.
After a fall in their spirals, 2015 World Champions Nexxice ended in third. Their “Bohemian Rhapsody” program earned a technical score of 49.47 and a program component score of 71.87 giving them a total score of 120.34. Two falls in their intersection and pairs element put Sweden’s Team Surprise in 4th. Their “Saber Dance” freeskate earned a technical score of 52.07 and a program component score of 68.41 for a total score of 118.48.
Rounding out the field of five was the Haydenettes of the United States. Skating to a “Street Beats” melody but with two falls in their pairs element and one in the intersection, the team earned a technical score of 43.00 and a program component score of 66.81 for a total score of 106.81.
Despite some falls, all five teams put out solid performances and served as a great representation of synchronized skating to the general figure skating community. While some of these teams may see each other at international competitions throughout the season, all five will not meet again until the 2016 World Synchronized Skating Championships in Budapest, Hungary. With the diversity of these program themes and the caliber of skating already being displayed, next year’s Worlds are sure to be an exciting event!