Canada’s Les Suprêmes wins third consecutive World title, Team USA’s Haydenettes win first-ever silver

By Gina Capellazzi, Team FSO contrib

ZAGREB, CROATIA — The last two years, Les Suprêmes, who represent the Club de Patinage Artistique de Saint-Léonard in Montreal, Quebec, have won the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships held in locations in North America — Hamilton, Ontario in 2022 and Lake Placid, New York in 2023.

This year, they had to travel across the Atlantic Ocean to Zagreb, Croatia, but they still produced the same result – winning their third consecutive World title.

In first after the short program by 0.89 points, Les Suprêmes opened their “Mt. Everest” theme free skate with a difficult creative element that resembled a mountain with one of the skaters standing a top and then diving into the arms of her teammates below. Les Suprêmes earned several level fours for their moving element, group lift, pair element, synchronized spin element, intersections and non-hold element. They did earn a level three on their pivoting block. Les Suprêmes earned a free skate score of 159.08 and a total score of 237.97, which were both season’s best scores. They won their third consecutive World title.

“We’re really happy with how we performed today,” team captain Olivia Di Giandomenico said at the post event press conference. “Our goal coming into the competition was to have a clean skate and be happy when we get off the ice, regardless of what the result was. As soon as we hit the ending position, we were really happy no matter what was going to happen.”

In third after the short program was Team USA’s Haydenettes, who were hoping to land on the podium for the first time since 2016. In their “Who Wants to Live Forever” free skate, the Haydenettes demonstrated great speed and unison, and earned all level fours for their nine level-elements. They received a free skate score of 157.11, which was a season’s best score.  While their free skate ranked second, they did have the highest total element score of the event – 81.87. Their total score of 233.85 was enough for them to move up to second and claim the silver medal. The silver marked their best-ever finish at the World Synchronized Skating Championships. The team previously won bronze from 2010-2013 and then again in 2016.

“It felt great. I feel like today we really skated as one unit, ” Autumn Coulthard from the Haydenettes said about the team’s free skate. “We left everything on the ice, put our heart out there and fought for every single element, every single point. I don’t think we could have done better than the skate we put out tonight.”

The Haydenettes, of the Skating Club of Boston, became just the second U.S. team to win a silver medal at the World Championships, the first since Miami University in 2007. The silver also marks the sixth World medal for the Haydenettes.

“It’s a huge honor, for the U.S. and us as well,” Coulthard said of the team’s silver medal. “I looked up to all the older skaters who had a small medal or a bronze or anything and try to make them proud, continue the legacy and keep pushing synchro forward to ultimately get it to the Olympics. So, it’s really exciting.”

In second after the short program was Finland’s Helsinki Rockettes, who were less than a point out of first place. They skated after the Haydenettes in the free skate and knew they needed to have a strong skate to go ahead of the Haydenettes, and to challenge Les Supremes, who were yet to skate, for the title. In their “Arboles Bajo El Mar” and “Spacetime Fairytale” free skate, the Helsinki Rockettes earned a considerable amount of level fours, including on their move element, pair element, intersections and synchronized spin, but they struggled with their group lift, which earned level three. They also lost a level on their pivoting block.  They received a free skate score of 151.84, which was third in the free skate, and a total score of 229.84 to win the bronze medal.

“We had a little mistake, so it’s a little disappointing, but we managed to have fun, and the rest of the program was really good, so we are really proud of what we did there,” Helsinki Rockettes team captain Eveliina Tikkinen said.

This marks Helsinki Rockettes’ fourth bronze medal and their eighth world medal overall.

Last year’s bronze medalists, Finland’s Team Unique, who were in fourth after the short program, remained in fourth place. They earned level fours on eight of the nine level-elements, only dropping a level on their pivoting block. They earned a free skate score of 150.61, and a total score of 227.11. Canada’s Team Nova, who was appearing in their first Worlds since 2019, finished in fifth place. They had a fall on the move element in their free skate, but also earned eight level fours.They earned a free skate score of 139.49 and a total score of 211.58. Also making their first appearance at the World Championships since 2019 was Team USA’s The Skyliners of the Skating Club of New York. They earned a free skate score of 136.99 and a total score of 206.27 to finish in sixth place, which is their highest placement at the World Championships.

“It means everything. Putting out two clean, solid performances that we’re really proud of, I don’t think we could’ve asked for anything more, and it was such an honor to be competing for the U.S. on this stage and with this group of people. It was truly spectacular,” Skyliners’ Emily Schneider said on what it means for the Skyliners to be skating at Worlds.

This is the third time that Zagreb has hosted the World Synchronized Skating Championships. They were due to host the event in 2021, but the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the full results, click here.