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INSYNCH ‘Representing Team USA’


SKATERS SHARE THEIR INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION EXPERIENCES Compiled by Kyleigh Gaff


When competing for Team USA interna-


tionally, there can be pressure and excitement when hearing “Representing the United States of America” for the first time. Tis season, Team USA has 219 athletes on 11 synchronized skating teams, with 74 representing the Unit- ed States for the first time. Team USA also has four athletes who hold citizenship in a different country. Olivia Marshall, who skates for the Sky- liners junior team in New York, represented the U.S. for the first time with trips to 2017 Cup of Berlin and 2017 French Cup. She recalls her experience of attending the Cup of Berlin, where the Skyliners won the gold. I started to become comfortable in my seat as the plane was about to take off and fly our team to Berlin, Germany, our first international of the sea- son, and my first international competition ever. I


was excited, but also nervous, as we were represent- ing our team as well as the United States of Amer- ica. My bags were packed with my skates, skating pants and an abundance of Team USA gear. I was prepared and ready to conquer what was at hand, but more than seven hours stood between me and arrival in Europe. As soon as we arrived, we collected our bags and loaded the bus to check into our hotel. Driv- ing through East Berlin, we saw streets filled with men and women walking to work, along with many apartment flats. Snow covered the ground, as a warm feeling kicked in that Berlin had wel- comed our arrival. While checking into the hotel, the thoughts of being in a different country sank in. We were here to represent our country. After settling into our rooms, we changed into our Team USA jackets, loaded the buses and headed to our first practice.


were filled with supporters


Entering the arena, we saw that the stands from different coun-


tries. Flags from Finland, France, Germany and Switzerland waved in the air as the teams shouted cheers. Looking over at the United States section, it was unreal to see the number of parents and siblings there supporting not only the Skyliners, but Team USA. We were not just there to skate, but to show the rest of the world, in that arena, how amazing it is to be part of Team USA. Competition day started like many normal


competition days. Hair and makeup was done, and I proceeded to mentally prepare for the day at hand. As the bus drove to the arena, we sang our pre-com- petition song and danced our nerves away. It was time to show the rest of the world what we were capable of. Lacing up my skates in the locker room, the adrenaline kicked in, and as the crowd started to cheer, it was our moment to skate and represent


The Skyliners junior team took home the gold medal from Cup of Berlin. Olivia Marshall (second row, second from right) talks about her first international experience in this edition of In synch.


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