Team Paradise of Russia won their second consecutive title at the 2017 World Synchronized Skating Championships, which were held in Colorado Springs, Colo. The team edged out Finland’s Marigold Ice Unity by a mere 0.12 points, while Team Nexxice of Canada pulled up from fourth to earn the bronze.
A total of 24 teams representing 19 ISU members competed in the Championships. Originally called Precision Skating, Synchronized Skating was introduced in the 1950s. It is a highly technical form of Figure Skating characterized by speed, precisions, unison, intricate formations, synchro elements, difficult footwork, spectacular lifts and exciting transitions. A synchronized team consists of 16 skaters (plus up to four alternates).
The Short Program consists of five required elements: Intersection Element, Move Element, No Hold Element, Pivoting Element – Block and Rotating Element – Circle. The Short Program is 2 min 50 seconds +/- 10 seconds in length.
Team Paradise opened their program to “Listen” by Beyonce with an excellent Move Element that garnered a level three and +3 Grade of Execution (GOE) scores from all nine judges. The Russians collected a level four for the Rotating Circle, the Block and the No Hold Element to earn 72.62 points.
Marigold Ice Unity’s Spanish themed routine to “El Matador,” “Espana Cani,” and “Olé” was highlighted by a two level-four No Hold Element and level-four Rotating Circle as well as by three level-three elements. The Finns scored 70.88 points.
Reigning World silver medalists RCKT (also known as the Rockettes) turned in a strong performance to “Mirror Mirror” by Jeff Williams as well, producing a level-four No Hold Element and Rotating Circle and picking up a level three for the other three elements. The Finnish team received 69.18 points.
The Free Skating program contains seven required elements: two different Group Lift Elements, two different Intersection Elements, No Hold Element, Travelling Element – Wheel, Pair Element (one of pair pivot, pair spin, pair step sequence) plus two elements that have to be chosen from two different groups of elements.
Paradise put out a dynamic performance to “Warsaw Concerto” by Richard Addinsel and picked up a level four for their No Hold Element, the Travelling Wheel and their pair spin while the group lifts, the Intersections and the Move Element were rated a level three. The team from St. Petersburg was ranked second in the Free Skating with 136.08 points, but overall held on to first place at 208.70 points.
Skating to a selection of music by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, Marigold Ice Unity, dressed in the Finnish colors blue and white, produced level-four group lifts, No Hold Element, Travelling Wheel and Pair Element as well as three level-three elements to win the Free Skating portion with 137.70 points. The 2014 World Champions totaled 208.58 points and remained in second place.
Nexxice’s program to “Hymn,” “If,” and “Memorial” featured five level-four elements. The 2015 World Champions scored 130.37 points and were ranked fourth in the Free Skating like in the Short Program, but overall moved up to third at 197.54 points.
2016 World bronze medalists Team USA – Haydenettes pulled up from fifth to fourth place with the third-best Free Skating of the night (194.43 points). 2016 World silver medalists Team RCKT (FIN) dropped from third to fifth after a three-points deduction for falls in the intersection and another deduction for a costume failure (193.87 points). Tatarstan (RUS) placed sixth (187.33 points).
2015 World Champions Team Nexxice (CAN) came fourth at 67.17 points. The 2016 World bronze medalists Haydenettes (USA) ranked fifth and lost two points because of falls (63.90 points). Tatarstan (RUS) finished sixth with 62.63 points.