By Gina Capellazzi, Team FSO website administrator
The 2023 ISU World Synchronized Championships heads to Lake Placid, New York this week. The event was originally supposed to be held in the “Olympic Village” in 2020, but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 also forced the cancellation of the event in 2021 in Zagreb, Croatia.
Last year, when the event resumed, it was Canada’s Les Suprêmes who came up from second after the short program to claim the gold medal in front of their home country in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The team, who is coached by Marilyn Langlois, Pascal Denis and Amelie Brochu in Montreal, Quebec, has won medals in two Challenger Series events this season – gold at Spring Cup and bronze at Leon Lurje.
Les Suprêmes will face some tough competition in their efforts to return as World champions. 2022 World Synchronized bronze medalists Team Helsinki Rockettes are having an undefeated international season – winning gold at Leon Lurje and Neuchâtel Trophy. They also won gold at Amber Cup. The Rockettes are three-time World champions (2008, 2010 and 2011). Finland’s other team, Team Unique, who won Finnish Nationals, are making a return to the World Championships – their first since 2018. This season, they finished second at Spring Cup and fourth at Mozart Cup. The 2022 World Synchronized silver medalist Team Marigold Ice Unity did not qualify for the World Championships this season.
Looking to get onto the World podium this year is Canada’s Nexxice, who finished fourth at last year’s event. The team that trains with Shelley Simonton Barnett and Anne Scheltern won gold at Mozart Cup and bronze at Spring Cup – both ISU Challenger Series events. Nexxice has won the World title twice – 2009 and 2015. The last time they medaled was in 2017 where they won the bronze.
30-time U.S. National Champions and five-time World bronze medalists, the Haydenettes, are looking to step onto the podium in front of their home crowd. The Haydenettes train at the Skating Club of Boston with Saga Krantz. The Haydenettes finished fifth at Worlds last season. This season, the team finished fourth at Leon Lurje Trophy, behind Les Suprêmes and won the silver medal at Mozart Cup.
Team USA’s second team, Miami University, are seeking their first World medal since 2007. The team, coached by Carla DeGirolamo, in Oxford, Ohio, is making their 14th appearance to the World Championships. Last season, they finished sixth at Worlds behind the Haydenettes. This season, Miami finished sixth at Spring Cup and fifth at Mozart Cup.
A total of 23 teams will compete at the World Championships in Lake Placid. The event kicks off March 30 with official practices. The opening ceremony will take place March 31 at 5:30 p.m. with the short program at 6 p.m. The free skate will start at 3:30 p.m. April 1.
Figure Skaters Online’s website administrator Gina Capellazzi will be in Lake Placid for the World Synchronized Skating Championships. Stay tuned for her updates at figureskatersonline.com and on social media.