In a word, athleticism is what describes the new breed of synchronized skating that I witnessed in practice yesterday in Colorado Springs, the home of this year’s World Synchronized Skating Championships.

The degree of difficulty and skill was very much on display as each of the 23 teams representing 18 countries went through their paces.

I have had the chance to attend 2 prior world championships in the years since the very first one that took place in 2000 in Mineeapolis, USA. Both events were in Canada with the last one being in 2007 in London, ON and aside from the noise and enthusiasm of the fans what has persisted as a constant is the high degree of innovation and creativity that is apparent in the most highly ranked teams.

Canada’s Nexxice, Team Canada 1 is here defending their 2009 world title, the first time that it was ever won by a team not from Sweden or Finland. Nexxice along with black ice (Team Canada 2) are among the frontrunners here and are strong examples of the innovarion and creativity about which I speak. They , along with the other top teams, seem to float across the rink and are almost noiseless throughout their stroking and turns; remarkable considering that there were 16 skaters on the ice at the time. The attention to detail in terms of the skating skills tells me that Synchronized skating isn’t the less talented skating cousin that it may once have been consideredand that the chorctaw, rochers, counters and twizzles really are “worlds worthy”.

It will be interesting to see how it unfolds as the skaters take the ice for the short program a little later today. Regardless, kudos to the coaches and skaters and judges and everyone else who have helped Synchro Skating – you’ve come a long way (in a very short time!) baby!

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