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Post 1


Recently the World Synchronized Skating Championships were held in Göteborg, Sweden. The top 10 finishers were, in order:

Sweden 1
Finland 2
Finland 1
Germany 1
Canada 1
Canada 2

For those who don't know, synchronized skating is a team event. Groups of skaters (usually at least 20 skaters per team) perform routines to music. They skate in formation, creating moving lines, blocks, circles, pinwheels, splices (intersecting lines) and the like. Unlike with other skating that you may have seen, the skaters do not perform the spectacular multi-revolution jumps. The difficulty in synchro comes with the complexity of the formations, the coordination among the skaters, and the speed with which they perform. Also unlike other skating disciplines, synchro is not segregated by gender; teams can be all-male, all-female, or mixed, and all teams compete against each other.

The Swedish and Finnish teams battle it out each year for the top spot; they're fabulous.

(A bit of bragging: Team USA 2 is the varsity synchronized skating team from Miami Uuniersity, my alma mater. I believe the seventh place finish was a personal best for them. Go, team!!!)

For pictures that will give you an idea of what the programs look like, go to http://www.worldsynchro2005.se/ and click on 'Photo Gallery'. A synchro skating primer is here: http://www.sk8stuff.com/f_synch/synchronized_skating_primer.htm.

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