by Erin Bold
The 2017 World Synchronized Skating Championships will take place on April 7th and 8th at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This marks the fourth time the event has taken place in the United States and the second time it has taken place in Colorado Springs, which also hosted the competition in 2010. This year’s competition will feature 24 senior teams from 19 countries, with the United States, Canada, Finland, Sweden, and Russia each sending two teams. Worlds is always an exciting competition, and this year looks to be no different, as there are several teams in contention for spots on the podium.
Canada 1 – Nexxice
This team from Burlington, Ontario is no stranger to the podium, having won the World Championships in 2015 and earned the silver medal each year from 2012 to 2014. Nexxice’s short program this year is an energetic crowd-pleaser set to the song “Got Your Number” by Canadian singer-songwriter Serena Ryder. The team’s free program, on the other hand, is all about grief, showcasing the emotions of a widow by highlighting one skater in a plain black dress. The idea of highlighting one skater is definitely a risk, but it certainly pays off. In addition to winning the Canadian national championships, Nexxice also finished fourth at the highly-competitive French Cup and finished first at Trophy D’Ecosse in Scotland.
Canada 2 – Les Supremes
Les Supremes, who practice in St. Leonard, Quebec, finished fifth at last year’s World Championships in Budapest. This year, they finished third at Leon Lurje Trophy in Sweden and second at the Budapest Cup, while also placing second at the Canadian national championships. Their short program is high-energy and full of sass, set to Amii Stewart’s “Knock on Wood”. Their free program is an inspirational piece about the power of dreams, featuring the popular song “Alive” by Sia.
Finland 1 – Marigold IceUnity
Last year was the first year that Marigold IceUnity did not qualify for the world championships, but that did not prevent them from coming back this year to win the intensely competitive Finnish national championships to secure a spot on the world team. This team from Helsinki has earned ten world medals, last winning the gold at the 2014 championships in Courmayeur, Italy. Marigold IceUnity’s short program this year has a matador theme; the team’s decision to wear pants instead of the usual dress helps to bring the story to life while also highlighting the incredible skills of its skaters. The team’s free program, set to the music of esteemed Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, is a tribute to Finland, which will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its independence from Russia in December of this year. This season, Marigold IceUnity placed first at Cup of Berlin and Mozart Cup and third at Finlandia Trophy.
Finland 2 – Rockettes
Last year’s world silver medallists, the Rockettes secured their spot as Team Finland 2 by performing well at each of Finland’s three qualifying competitions. Rockettes, who also skate out of Helsinki, finished first at this year’s Leon Lurje Trophy and second at French Cup, where they won the free skate. Both of the Rockettes’ programs are highly innovative this season; their “Mirror, Mirror” short program is definitely one of the most original in the division, managing to flow nicely with the music while integrating creative footwork and elements. Everything about their free program is creative, from the dresses to the choreography to the theme itself; the program is about valkyries, Norse mythological women who decided the fate of battles, yet it is also a tribute to strong women everywhere.
Russia 1 – Paradise
Last year’s gold medalists will attempt to defend their title , a feat that is absolutely within the realm of possibility. This team from Saint Petersburg won this year’s French Cup and the Budapest Cup, and they claimed their 19th national title. Both of Paradise’s programs highlight the team’s ballerina-like grace and elegance. Paradise’s short program features the song “Listen” by Beyonce from the Dreamgirls soundtrack. Their free program is set to classical piano music and does an excellent job of showcasing the team’s flexibility and strength.
Russia 2 – Tatarstan
This year’s Spring Cup winners and the eighth-place finishers at last year’s World Championships, Tatarstan comes from the city of Kazan, located on the Volga River and known for its sports culture. Both of Tatarstan’s programs are very energetic, and their short program has a great deal of dramatic flair. The team’s free skate pays homage to renowned silent film actor Charlie Chaplin, with plenty of pantomime and expression to help contribute to the theme. Tatarstan has been steadily improving over the past few years, so they will definitely be a team to keep an eye on.
Sweden 1 – Team Surprise
Team Surprise was largely absent from the international stage this year, having withdrawn from the Leon Lurje Trophy in January due to injuries and illness among the team. Nevertheless, Team Surprise, who practices in Landvetter (near Gothenburg), was able to bounce back to win the Swedish national championships. Team Surprise finished sixth in last year’s competition, so while it is difficult to say just how the team will stack up this year, they will surely entertain the crowd as they always do.
Sweden 2 – Team Boomerang
Team Boomerang, who skate out of Gothenburg, have competed at several international competitions this year, finishing eighth at French Cup and fifth at Leon Lurje Trophy. The silver medals from the Swedish national championships, Team Boomerang also finished tenth in last year’s World Championships. The team’s short program, set to Josh Groban’s “To Where You Are”, is about remembering lost loved ones. Their free program is the team’s own take on the classic whodunit.
USA 1 – Haydenettes
Last year’s world bronze medallists, the Haydenettes have had a highly successful season, winning the U.S. National Championships and earning the silver medal at both Cup of Berlin and Leon Lurje Trophy, where they won the free skate. The Haydenettes have earned the bronze medal at Worlds in five of the last seven years, and they are looking to earn a spot on the podium again this year. Their short program this season is set to the Ten Tenors version of “Now We Are Free” from the movie Gladiator. Their free program is a fun and energetic tribute to Prince featuring some of his greatest hits, including “Kiss”, “Purple Rain”, and “Let’s Go Crazy”. The Haydenettes medaled in the last two World Championships that were held in the United States, so the energy from the home crowd could easily help to propel them onto the podium.
USA 2 – Crystallettes
Having last competed at Worlds in 2014, the Crystallettes are returning to the competition this year after placing second at the U.S. National Championships. They also earned the bronze medal at the Cup of Berlin and finished fifth at French Cup. The Crystallettes’ short program, set to the J2 cover of “Lean on Me”, is heartfelt and emotional. Their free program music is The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, manages to be both dramatic and whimsical. The Crystallettes competed in the World Championships the last time it was held in Colorado Springs in 2010, and they finished second in the National Championships when they were held at the Broadmoor World Arena in 2014, so their lucky streak in this arena could easily continue this year.
In addition to the aforementioned teams, there will also be teams from Australia, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and Turkey; several of these teams also have the potential to break into the top ten. From all of us here at Get It Called, good luck to everyone competing, and we look forward to watching some world-class synchro.
We invite you to join the fun with Get It Called’s 2017 Synchro Worlds BINGO! You can print your BINGO card at home and bring it with you, or you can save it on your phone and mark up your squares using an editing app of your choice. You can get a head start on some of the squares by making sure you’re following us on social media! And, if you haven’t already heard we’re working on a new project… a synchro documentary. You can check out the trailer here and collect a limited edition postcard this week at Worlds (which will also help with those BINGO squares)!