Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Skating in sync

Posted By on Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Athletes from Italy, Finland, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and a bunch of other countries converge on Colorado Springs April 9 and 10 for the International Skating Union's 2010 World Synchronized Skating Championships at the World Arena.

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If you've never seen synchronized skating, this is a slick opportunity to see the very best in action. Routines are unbelievably choreographed and executed, and the costumes are also fun to see. This isn't an after-school past-time. These people are serious. Skaters go through fierce competition to be picked for a team. They relocate to train. Even put off college to compete.

Springs-based U.S. Figure Skating introduced championship-caliber synchronized skating to the world when it hosted the inaugural World Synchronized Skating Championships in 2000. Now, a decade later the World Synchronized Skating Championships return to Colorado Springs at the World Arena.

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Single-session tickets ($12.00 to $17.00) are now available. Click here, or call the box office at 719.576.2626.

Teams are entered from the United States, Australia, Finland, Japan, Austria, France, New Zealand, Belgium, Germany, Russia, Canada, Hungary, South Africa, Croatia, Iceland, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden and the Czech Republic.

There are about 525 synchronized teams registered with U.S. Figure Skating and nearly 5,000 athletes participate annually in the synchronized skating sectional championships.

Synchronized skating is a team sport in which 8-20 skaters perform a program together. It uses the same judging system as singles, pairs and dance and is characterized by teamwork, speed, intricate formations and challenging step sequences. As with the other disciplines, all teams perform a free skate with required well-balanced program elements. In addition, teams at the junior and senior level perform a short program consisting of required elements.

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