By Gina Capellazzi, Team FSO website administrator
Photos by Jordan Cowan, On Ice Perspectives
Mixed Zone photos by Gina Capellazzi
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Last year, Les Suprêmes, who represent the Club de Patinage Artistique de Saint-Léonard in Montreal, Quebec, won the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships in their home country as the World Synchronized Skating Championships was held in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
This year, the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships was held March 31-April 1 in Lake Placid, New York, just about a two-hour drive from Montreal. Hundreds of fans from Canada made the trip south, and witnessed Les Suprêmes win their second consecutive World title.
In first after the short program by 0.39 points, Les Suprêmes earned several level fours,for their pivoting block, group lift, moving element, synchronized spin and pair element in their “Madame Butterfly” theme free skate. Their intersections earned level three and four. The 2022 World Champions set a season’s best score of 161.98 in the free skate and a season’s best total score of 240.98, to win their second consecutive World title.
“It’s an honor to be on the podium today. We’ve been working super hard all season and improving our program after every competition and it’s just a great reward at the end of a long season,” said Les Suprêmes Team Captain Julia Bernardo.
The team noted having the big Canadian crowd inside the Herb Brooks Arena, site of the 1980 Olympics, was fun.
“Our fans have been cheering us on throughout the whole season and it’s just so fun to have them here (in Lake Placid), cheering us on again at the most important competition of the season,” Team Captain Olivia Di Giandomenico remarked.
In second after the short program was Finland’s Helsinki Rockettes, who were hoping to improve on their third-place finish at last year’s World Championships. In their “Requiem” free skate, the Helsinki Rockettes earned a considerable amount of level fours, including on their group lift, move element, pivoting block, pair element and synchronized spin. They did receive a one-point deduction for a fall after their lift. They received a free skate score of 160.95, which was third in the free skate, and a season’s best total score of 239.56 to win the silver medal. They missed the gold medal by 1.42 points.
“It (Winning the silver) feels amazing. It is an honor to have worked hard and and it’s a great achievement to be on the podium,” Rockettes captain Petra Viitanen said in the press conference.
In their first World Championships since 2018, Team Unique, also of Finland, was hoping to finish on the podium for the first time since they won the title in 2013. In their “Voila”, “Victoria Station” and “Vendetta March” free skate, Team Unique earned several level fours, including their synchronized spin, move element, pivoting block and group lift. They earned a season’s best free skate score of 161.55, putting them second in the free skate, just 0.43 points behind Les Suprêmes. They earned a total score of 237.55, which was also a season’s best score, to claim the bronze medal.
“We are very happy. It’s been such a nice journey this whole season. We have almost a whole team of newcomers for worlds this season. It’s an honor (to win bronze),” said Unique team captain Jenni Puhakka.
Canada’s Team Nexxice, out of Burlington, Ontario, finished in fourth place. In their “El Mar Mediterrani” free skate, they earned level fours on their synchronized spin, moving element, pair element, pivoting block, non-hold element and group lift. Their line and intersections earned level threes and level fours. They earned a free skate score of 155.91, which was a season’s best, and a total score of 228.08 points.
“It was amazing. It was really, really enjoyable. It felt like a home crowd out there seeing all the Canadian flags. It was memorable,” Emma Daigle, of Team Nexxice said about the experience.
Finishing in fifth place for the second year in a row was Team USA’s Haydenettes, out of the Skating Club of Boston. Two falls in their short program left them in sixth place heading into the free skate. Seeking redemption, they received level fours on several elements, including synchronized spin, move element, pair element, and their intersections. Their pivoting block earned a level three. They earned a free skate score of 153.55 and a total score of 218.32, both season’s best scores.
“I think the free skate is totally a new day of competition, so we try to approach it like that. Obviously, we got some mistakes yesterday, but today was a fresh start, a new day for us so we wanted to give our best,” Haydenettes captain Cameron Feeley said about the mindset following their mistakes in the short program.
“Try to reset, get some rest and come out here, ready to take on the day,” added fellow captain Autumn Coulthard.
Miami University was in fifth place after the short program. In their “Ode to Joy” free skate, the team had a fall during their opening pivoting block. They did earn level fours on their group lift, move element, non-hold element and intersections. They earned a 139.87 in the free skate and a total score of 209.94, both season’s best scores.
Along with family, friends and fans, a number of Miami University and Haydenettes alums were in stands in Lake Placid. When both teams took the ice, during practice and in competition, the home crowd was boisterous, waving U.S. flags and chanting “USA, USA, USA.”
“We were so excited to take the ice with the home crowd and on home ice,” said Isabella Quintero, a senior on the Miami University team.
“It was an incredible experience, especially during our warmup time. And then I think in our opening pose, we felt the energy, but as soon as the music started, we were kind of locked in and in our zone and the crowd was there giving us energy, but we made sure to stay in our bubble and stay focused throughout the whole time,” said Feeley.
To see the full results, click here.
“Olympic Village” Voices
Team Figure Skaters Online website administrator Gina Capellazzi spoke with many teams about what it was like to skate in front of a huge crowd inside the historical Herb Brooks Arena, site of the 1980 Olympics and the “Miracle on Ice” hockey game between the U.S. and Soviet Union.
“It’s magical and amazing. It is also emotional, but at the same time, we are super happy to be here.”
– Margherita Criscimanna and Viviana Cubello
Team Hot Shivers, of Italy (11th place)
“It’s amazing. We loved how the crowd reacted when we came on and through our entire elements. We loved skating here. It was our biggest dream and we’re glad we made it here.
– Emilia Woyke and Emma Consigny
Team United Angels of Germany (12th place)
” It’s just amazing. Like the feeling, it is unbelievable and also the crowd was so like welcoming. It was amazing.”
– Carla Tejedor Arevalo and Raquel Valenzuela
Team Fusion, of Spain (17th place)
“It’s crazy. It’s so nice to be here and in America and on traditional ice that the Olympics was held. The atmosphere is just incredible and we’re just so lucky that we get to experience that. It’s such a privilege to be here.”
– Sophie Ekstrom-Gabb and Eleanor Penfold
Team Icicles, of Great Britain (20th place)