By Alice Tarantin
Sacrifice is a familiar word to all of us. Every skater has given up countless things in order to further his or her skating career. Many would agree the most widespread sacrifice found in skating is the time spent traveling to various rinks. Skaters are used to commuting long distances for testing, competitions, and private lessons. But can you imagine driving across multiple states or even flying to get to practice?
Krissy Kopans, a student at the University of Delaware, leaves college on Friday afternoons and returns Sunday evenings. In between, she drives six hours to New York or Connecticut to practice with the Skyliners senior line. Not being able to spend weekends at college like most students is a huge sacrifice, yet to Krissy, it doesn’t seem that way. Krissy feels she’s gained far more than she’s lost from her involvement in skating.
Jordan Weiss and Natasha Vo, also members of Skyliners senior, fly to practices from their homes in Minnesota. Once they land in New York, a teammate drives them straight to practice, and the girls stay at a fellow Skyliners’ guesthouse for the weekend. This strict schedule limits the time Jordan gets to spend enjoying her senior year of high school in Minnesota. She’s had to miss every football game and many other school events, but she still feels that synchronized skating is more rewarding than anything else she’s ever been involved in.
So what is it about synchro that makes it, as Krissy says, “almost addicting”?
There is no single answer, since skating is personal yet different for everyone, but Krissy and Jordan had almost identical replies.
“There’s something really special about skating with a team,” said Krissy. Jordan agreed that there are few sports “that require so much team chemistry and dedication to be successful.”
Knowing that 15 other girls are counting on you pushes you to your limits and motivates you to be the best you can be. Sharing the ice, the memories, and the thrill of competing creates an unbreakable team dynamic. I’m sure most skaters would agree with Krissy that, “team feels like family. They pick you up when you’re down (sometimes literally)… They understand exactly what you’re going through a lot of the time when no one else does.”
Ultimately, the reward comes the moment you step onto the ice to compete.
“The rush is absolutely incredible; there is nothing like hearing the roars of the crowd,” Jordan shares. All the exhaustion and stress, every long drive to practice, amass precisely for that moment. Krissy reflects that when “you’re standing on the ice moving your feet back and forth and you look out into the crowd and listen to them cheer ‘USA! USA! USA!’ it really makes everything worth it.”
Being a member of Team USA is a dream come true, and both Krissy and Jordan are very grateful for the opportunity to skate on Skyliners senior. Though hundreds of physical miles stand between these girls and their dreams, they wouldn’t trade the honor of skating on Team USA for anything.