Erika Sipos, sophomore, and Emily Kuo, junior, both skate nationally as part of a synchronized skating team. Sipos is on the Skyliners Intermediate Synchronized Skating Team and Kuo is on Lexettes (Hayden Synchronized Skating Team).
A synchro season is usually from the end of August to the end of February; this is when all the large competitions occur. Then, from March till the next season, usually August, is when they both train themselves to get to a higher level for the next season.
For synchro, Kuo practices at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, MA, and Sipos practices at Stamford, CT. They both regularly skate by themselves as practice at the WSA, Westchester Skating Academy.
An ice-skating schedule is very tough. Kuo’s schedule includes skating all week with synchro Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and practicing by herself other days. As Kuo said, one regular day of synchro practice on a weekday would be “[getting to the rink] at 2:30 pm… 3:30 pm warm up of running and stretching… on the ice for 2-3 hours and after with a small break… then either ballet, fitness, or off ice with our coach for 1.5-2 hours.” While on a weekend, it is “more like full days of skating… starting at 10 am and ending at 4 pm.”
Sipos’s schedule includes morning practice Monday, Thursday, and Friday, waking up “around 5:20 am… [and] skating from 6:00-6:55 am [and then] getting ready for school,” and weekends 5 hours a day.
Sipos’s favorite skills are the loop jumps and camel spins, while Kuo loves double loop jumps and I-spins.
This past season, the Skyliners Intermediate Line, which Sipos is a part of, did not place lower than third in all of their competitions. Moreover, they won first at the Skating National Championships in February in Kalamazoo, Michigan. As a tradition, they all kissed the ice with the trophy in front of all of them. It was a dream come true for all of them.
Both Sipos and Kuo really appreciate being a part of their synchro team: As Sipos said, “We all become sisters.”
Kuo also added, “A team won’t be successful if it isn’t bonded well… you basically live with them through good and bad.”
Both Sipos and Kuo have their aspirations. They both want to qualify for World Championships and finish top 2 at Nationals.
Kuo will be competing in Austria, representing Team USA in January, and they will both strive towards Nationals later in the year.