(January 25, 2007)
black ice, the current Canadian synchronized skating senior national champions, competed at the 2007 Winter Universiade, the World University Games, in Turin, Italy, where they finished in fifth place. black ice experienced a difficult official free practice where one skater was kicked and received stitches, but the team pulled together for a solid free skate program skated with determination.
This was the first time synchronized skating was included in this event and was presented as a demonstration sport with the short program on Saturday, January 20, and the free skate on Sunday, January 21.
“The Winter Universiade Games was an experience of a lifetime for the team and we were proud to be part of a historical moment for synchronized skating. This event was quite different from any international event that we have ever attended. Moments such as the constant security and police escorts, accreditation procedures, opening ceremonies, meals at the Olympic Village, practice schedules and competing for Canada as part of a much larger team are memories that impacted the girls and will last forever,” said black ice’s senior coach Cathy Dalton. “Walking into the Opening Ceremonies with the rest of Team Canada and seeing the crowd dressed all in white....camera's flashing, music blaring, flags waving was amazing.”
What could this mean for synchronized skating?
“We hope that synchronized skating made a lasting and positive impression on the FISU and that this discipline of the ISU will remain as a sport in the Universiade Games and eventually on the Olympic stage” says Dalton. “The audience at the competition was wonderful. Synchronized skating had the largest attendance so far at the 2007 Universiade...For the most part the audience was experiencing synchronized skating for the first time and loved it. They clapped, cheered, ooh'ed and aah'ed and appreciated each team, no matter what their nationality...although the Italian team was clearly their favorite.”
black ice was crowned Canadian synchronized skating senior national champions in 2005 and 2006.
Skate Canada also wants to acknowledge Gary Wong’s performance, the only Skate Canada singles skater, from the Vancouver Skating Club, and a student at Simon Fraser University, who was also in Turin competing in the men’s category at the 2007 Winter Universiade and placed 18th. The men’s competition was highlighted by the battle of the two Japanese skaters, Daisuke Takahashi and Nobunari Oda, the 2006 national Japanese champion and vice-champion respectively. Takahashi, 2002 world junior champion, won the 2007 Universiade title while Oda, 2005 world junior champion, finished second.
black ice with 2007 Universiade mascot, Crazy the Dahu
black ice at Speed Skating Oval Torino