The ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships (WSSC) are the world championships for the sport of synchronized skating. Held since 2000, the World Synchronized Skating Championships is an annual event organized by the International Skating Union and attracts the most elite senior-level synchronized skating teams from around the world to compete for the World Championship.
A world championship is generally an international competition open to elite competitors from around the world, representing their nations, and winning such an event will be considered the highest or near highest achievement in the sport, game, or ability.
Synchronized skating is a sport where between eight and sixteen figure skaters perform together as a team. They move as a flowing unit at high speed over the ice, while completing complicated footwork. Synchronized skating grew rapidly in the late 20th and early 21st centuries and today there are approximately 600 synchro teams in the United States alone.
The International Skating Union (ISU) is the international governing body for competitive ice skating disciplines, including figure skating, synchronized skating, speed skating, and short track speed skating. It was founded in Scheveningen, Netherlands, in July 1892, making it one of the oldest international sport federations. The ISU was formed to establish standardized international rules and regulations for the skating disciplines it governs, and to organize international competitions in these disciplines. It is now based in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Since the beginning, the top positions have been mainly dominated by Sweden and Finland: the Swedish Team Surprise have won six World titles, four silver medals and one bronze medal and the Finnish Marigold IceUnity are five-time World Champions with four silver medals and two bronze medals. Rockettes from Finland have earned three World titles, two silver medals and three bronze medals. Other major teams include the Canadian NEXXICE with two World titles, three silvers and two bronzes, the Russian Team Paradise with 2 World titles and 2 bronze, the Finnish Team Unique with one gold and one silver, as well as the American teams, Miami University and the Haydenettes with one silver and four bronze medals, respectively. Other medalists include the (now-discontinued) Canadian black ice with one silver medal and two bronze medals, the Canadian Les Suprêmes with one bronze medal.
Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million of which 2.4 million has a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi). The highest concentration is in the southern half of the country.
Finland, officially the Republic of Finland is a country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, and Russia to the east. Finland is a Nordic country and is situated in the geographical region of Fennoscandia. The capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Oulu and Turku.
Team Surprise were a senior synchronized skating team from Sweden. Established in 1985, they were the world's most successful team with six world championships and 12 medals in total, placing off podium only in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Although initially dominated by just a handful of teams and countries, the sport has arguably become more competitive over time; as supported by an analysis of the point 'gap' between the 1st and 10th placed teams. Starting from the 2005 WSSC (the first year the current ISU Judging System was introduced), the point 'gap' has tended to decrease over time:
The ISU Judging System, occasionally referred to as the Code of Points (COP) system, is the scoring system currently used to judge the figure skating disciplines of men's and ladies' singles, pair skating, ice dance, and synchronized skating. It was designed and implemented by the International Skating Union (ISU), the ruling body of the sport. This system of scoring is used in all international competitions sanctioned by the ISU, including the Olympic Games. The ISU Judging System replaced the previous 6.0 system in 2004. This new system was created in response to the 2002 Winter Olympics figure skating scandal, in an attempt to make the scoring system more objective and less vulnerable to abuse.
|WSSC (year)||1st vs. 10th place (∆ points)|
|2019||To be held on 12 - 14 April 2019 in Helsinki, Finland.|
|2020||To be held on 3 - 5 April 2020 in Lake Placid, USA.|
|Medals by team|
The ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships (WJSSC) are the junior world championships for the sport of synchronized skating. Held first time in 2013 and originally planned to be held biennially, the WJSSC is now an annual event sanctioned by the International Skating Union.
Susanna Rahkamo is a Finnish former competitive ice dancer. She competed with Petri Kokko, her future husband. With Kokko, she is the 1995 European champion, 1995 World silver medalist, and competed in the Winter Olympics twice.
Laura Anneli Lepistö is a Finnish former competitive figure skater. She is the 2010 world bronze medalist, the 2009 European champion, and a two-time Finnish national champion.
NEXXICE is the name for synchronized skating teams representing Burlington Skating Centre from Burlington, Ontario, Canada. Their senior team are ten-time Canadian national champions (2007–17), the first Canadian team to win the World Championships (2009), and again in 2015. They are 2012–14 World silver medalists and 2007–08 & 2016-17 World bronze medalists.
Marigold IceUnity are a senior-level synchronized skating team from Helsinki, Finland, representing the figure skating club Helsingin Luistelijat. Coached by Anu Oksanen and Tiina Turunen, they are four-time World Champions and currently ranked first in the world by the International Skating Union. They are the current world champions (2018).
black ice were a synchronized skating team from Canada. Their senior team were three-time medalists at the World Championships and eight-time Canadian national champions. The team was founded by Cathy Dalton and Susan Pettes. On October 20, 2010, black ice announced they were retiring. Their junior team won the 2006 French Cup and was 5th at Junior World Challenge Cup that same year. black ice also appeared on the Canadian reality show Say Yes & Marry Me! in 2003, where they helped a man propose to his girlfriend.
The Haydenettes are a senior-level synchronized skating team representing Hayden Figure Skating Club. They are five-time bronze medalists at the World Synchronized Skating Championships, earning the title in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2016. Formed in 1979 by Lynn Benson, the Haydenettes are the most successful synchronized skating team in U.S. history, with 26 U.S. National titles.
Helsinki Rockettes are a senior-level synchronized skating team from Helsinki, Finland, representing the figure skating club Helsingin Taitoluisteluklubi. They are one of the most successful teams in the world with three World Championships and they are ten-time Finnish champions.
Team Unique are a senior-level synchronized skating team from Helsinki, Finland, representing the figure skating club Helsingfors Skridskoklubb (HSK). Established in 1993 and competing at the senior level since 1996, Team Unique are the 2013 world champions, 2009 world silver medalists and the 2013 and 2016 Finnish champions. Currently, they are ranked tenth in the world by the International Skating Union. The team's home club, HSK, is also the home club to the junior team Team Mystique.
Matthias Versluis is a Finnish figure skater. Competing in ice dancing with Juulia Turkkila, he has won three international medals and the 2019 Finnish national title. As a single skater, he is the 2014 Finnish national champion and competed in the final segment at two ISU Championships.
Musketeers are a junior-level synchronized skating team representing the figure skating club Helsingin Luistelijat, based in Helsinki, Finland.
The 2009–10 synchronized skating season began on July 1, 2009, and ended on June 30, 2010. During this season, which was concurrent with the season for the other four disciplines, elite synchronized skating teams competed on the International Skating Union (ISU) Championship level at the 2010 Senior World Championships and Junior World Challenge Cup. They also competed at various other international as well as national synchronized skating competitions.
Team Fintastic are a junior-level synchronized skating team from Helsinki, Finland, representing the figure skating club Helsingin Taitoluisteluklubi. They are one of the most successful junior teams in the world, with the silver medal at the 2013 World Junior Championships and eight victories at the Junior World Challenge Cup, with seven consecutive victories from 2007 to 2014.
The 2006–07 synchronized skating season began on July 1, 2006, and ended on June 30, 2007. During this season, which was concurrent with the season for the other four disciplines, elite synchronized skating teams competed on the International Skating Union (ISU) Championship level at the 2007 World Championships and Junior World Challenge Cup. They also competed at various other international as well as national synchronized skating competitions.
Team Mystique are a junior-level synchronized skating team from Helsinki, Finland, representing the figure skating club Helsingfors Skridskoklubb. The club is also home to the senior team, Team Unique. They have placed second twice at the Junior World Challenge Cup.
Les Suprêmes is the senior-level synchronized skating team representing the figure skating club Club de Patinage Artistique de Saint-Léonard in Montréal, Quebec, Canada. CPA St-Léonard fields teams, all named Les Suprêmes, at five levels: elementary, juvenile, novice, junior and senior.
Paradise are a senior-level synchronized skating team representing Russia. Currently, they are ranked first in the world by the International Skating Union. They are the 2017 and 2016 World Champions, they claimed the 2015 World Championships bronze medals, and they are the 1999-2017 Russian National Champions.
The 2004–05 synchronized skating season began on July 1, 2004, and ended on June 30, 2005. During this season, which was concurrent with the season for the other four disciplines, elite synchronized skating teams competed on the International Skating Union (ISU) Championship level at the 2005 World Championships and Junior World Challenge Cup. They also competed at various other international as well as national synchronized skating competitions.