When it comes right down to it, the practice before the event doesn’t really matter as the competition and the results from the 2:50 second short program is what goes down on paper.

Take yesterday, sitting with some Synchro afficionados and later in the back hallways it seemed as if Canada 1 aka Nexxice would be the team to beat in the short program at the World Snchronized Skating Championships in Colorado Springs. They were strong, confident with sublime edgework and breathtaking speed and as defending world champions had the advantage of “cred”coming into the event.

It took one slip and two skaters colliding during the angle intersection element and the subsequent two point deduction and diminished grade of execution for the element to leave them in 6th place 7.96 points out of the lead.

Speaking to Nexxice coach, Shelley Barnett and choreographer Anne Schelter after the event they said that they had already discussed the short program in the dressing room with the skaters and as a group had decided to put it behind them and focus on the free. One skater brought up skating not for the result but for the love of skating. Ms. Schelter told me “That was exactly what we hoped they would say.”

Stepping up in last night’s short program were the Finnish national champions, Rockettes, who earned an impressive 81.40 even with a 1.00 deduction in a fabulously theatrical and complex middle eastern themed program.

Team USA 1, The Haydenettes, exemplified fresh faced energy and youth and with strong skating skills and a program that really packed a punch they are in second place.

Canada 2, Toronto area’s black ice showed what they were made of and sit in third place with a score of 76.26 going into the free where they will showcase a beautiful program choreographed by David Wilson.

After the short program, black ice coach Cathy Dalton said “It was nice to be able to do what we know how to do in practice.”

It will all come down to the free and although I am going to go and watch the practice sessions, I won’t forget that it is once the judges are in their places and the team name is called that is when the skating really counts.

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