Monday, June 2, 2014

Team USA Working as ONE to be #1

This past weekend, some of the top synchronized skaters and coaches from the best teams in the country came together in Orlando, FL to set some big goals for Team USA this coming season. I was very excited to take a quick trip down to Florida with my coaches and a few teammates to participate in the first ever US Figure Skating Synchronized Skating Elite Camp. While I knew that the camp was going to be very exciting, it exceeded my expectations and was truly a huge success.
This training camp was designed with various factors in mind, but one of the most important was to grow the sport of synchronized skating in the U.S. and increase our competitiveness on the international stage. This was the very first camp created especially for Team USA skaters and coaches. Each Team USA coach was able to select four of his or her skaters to represent the team at the event and bring everything they gained from their experience back to their fellow teammates.

The skaters and coaches alike got the opportunity to work with some very talented faculty who don’t typically get to work directly with the synchronized skating community as a whole. This amazing group of people included John Coughlin, Alena Lunin, Kelley Morris-Adair, Scott Brown, Suzy Semanick-Schurman, and Kat Arbour, just to name a few. With these people as a resource, we had the privilege to work on pairs elements, skating skills, power, strength and flexibility, and choreography, to prepare us for the challenge that the 2014-2015 season is sure to bring.

Team USA skaters with John Coughlin
This was such a unique experience because it truly brought together all of the strongest teams in the country as one unified Team USA. Although we get the opportunity to compete together overseas, we are still simply “competing against” each other, the way that we do when we are on home ice in the United States. I believe that John Coughlin, Team USA pairs skater, said it perfectly when he gave his opening remarks at the event, saying that at this camp all of the skaters around us were our teammates for weekend and we make up Team USA together. He also commented on the fact that without full commitment and the will to work as one, we would not truly be able to accomplish our goals of moving up the ranks internationally and working towards getting synchronized skating to be an Olympic sport. Overall I found the drive of the skaters, usually competing on different teams, to make each other better and work towards a common goal to be one of the most inspiring aspects of this event. It was also amazing to see just how many people are standing behind us as athletes, to help us to improve and believe in what we are capable of achieving.
Miami University Junior and Senior skaters

I am so lucky to have been a part of this phenomenal experience and feel a new excitement for next season to begin. I can’t wait to see what is in store for Team USA in the year to come as we push the boundaries in the synchronized skating world, while striving for greater speed, power, and flow to raise us up to where we want to be.

With Love & Honor, Go Team USA!

Ashley Mulhern