by Anne Calder
The World College Winter Video games is the biggest multi-collegiate athletic occasion on this planet. The occasion is held each two years within the odd yr. The 2023 Video games had been held in Lake Placid, NY and a number of other surrounding cities. It was the second time the small Adirondack Mountain village hosted the Video games.
Over 1400 athletes from 595 universities and 43 international locations participated in 86 competitions in 12 sports activities. The USA had the biggest delegation (150), adopted by JPN (139) and CAN (121). The determine skaters competed in males (31) and girls (34) singles and ice dance (13 groups).
The determine skating competitors was held on the Olympic Middle 1980 Herb Brooks Area, web site of the “Miracle on Ice”. The constructing additionally homes the 1932 Jack Shea Area, the primary Winter Olympic indoor ice floor and the USA Apply rink.
ICE DANCE PODIUM
- FRA – Marie Dupayage & Thomas Nabais (176.04)
- USA – Lorraine McNamara & Anton Spiridonov (175.33)
- FRA – Natacha Lagouge & Arnaud Caffa (167.35)
Lake Placid has a 90-year historical past with ice dance. Each July, the Olympic Middle hosts the Ice Dance Championships, the oldest steady ice dance competitors on this planet. The primary occasion was held in 1933, the yr after the Village hosted the 1932 Olympics. In 2015, the Lake Placid Ice Dance Worldwide (LPIDI) was added to the ISU calendar.
The six ice dancers who represented the USA on the Video games additionally competed in July 2022 on the LPIDI or the Lake Placid Championships. After the Video games, they shared their ideas about their latest distinctive expertise and likewise competing on the smaller summer time occasion.
Lorraine McNamara (College of Maryland) & Anton Spirodonov (Group School of Northern VA) (175.33) are the 2022 Lake Placid Ice Dance Worldwide (LPIDI) gold medalists.
IDC: What had been your total impressions of the Video games.
Lorraine: The power is gorgeous – magnificent. It was so memorable. It wasn’t simply the magical ambiance however due to the opposite athletes. You’re surrounded by such elite athleticism, so inspiring. Each competitors we go to is great with totally different skaters from different nations, however it was totally different there assembly athletes from totally different disciplines.
It was actually exceptional and so inspiring since you see the drive and the fireplace of each athlete otherwise than what we’re used to, and it simply fueled us all through our competitors.
We took it with us leaving the competitors. It stayed with us. We all know there’s the great facet of the competitors, however Lake Placid in its personal proper is gorgeous and particularly for Group USA such an Olympic spirit. It was only a properly rounded journey.
IDC: Describe your Opening Ceremony expertise.
Anton: We felt that the Opening Ceremony and assembly all the opposite athletes was superb. There was an enormous crowd – very receptive, very heat. It’ll go down as one among my favourite competitions.
IDC: How was the Lake Placid expertise totally different from the summer time competitions?
Anton: It was a totally totally different expertise. On the Lake Placid Ice Dance Worldwide everyone is used to going. It’s virtually like coming house each time, however this was such an enormous occasion. There have been so many various sports activities, international locations and skaters and disciplines. We’ve by no means been to the Olympics but, however everyone mentioned it was just like the Olympic expertise – the Collegiate Olympics.
Lorraine: After we go as much as LP in the summertime, we don’t get to see the velocity skating exercise. The oval was proper there, so to see it getting used was so cool. We really met a number of actually cool velocity skaters and acquired to know them. They got here to look at us, and we watched them. Lake Placid is gorgeous in the summertime, however it’s additionally made to be a winter city. To see it in its absolute component was actually magical.
IDC: Did you get to go to different competitions?
Anton: We had been actually busy and centered on our personal competitions, however on the final day we went to look at ski leaping. There was this sense of camaraderie. You actually get to understand different athletes of their totally different sports activities.
Angela Ling (College of California, Berkeley) and Caleb Wein (College of Maryland) (158.52) attended the 2022 Lake Placid Championships, however withdrew after the Rhythm Dance as a consequence of damage.
IDC: What was your expertise like on the Opening Ceremony?
Caleb: Doing the March into the Area was one thing we’ve by no means performed earlier than, and that was very cool.
IDC: What had been the audiences like?
Caleb: The viewers there was totally different as a result of it wasn’t simply skating followers. You had different sports activities and households of different sports activities plus the locals, so their reactions had been a bit totally different, so it was enjoyable. We didn’t fairly know what we had been going to get, however they had been tremendous pleasant. It was a unique expertise, however actually good.
Angela: The viewers acquired enthusiastic about issues a typical skating viewers wouldn’t. They didn’t care in regards to the twizzles, however thought all of the sliding was so cool.
IDC: Did you get to mingle with athletes aside from determine skaters?
Angela: It was actually cool. We’ve by no means performed a contest with different sports activities. Within the eating space we acquired to see totally different athletes from totally different sports activities. We acquired to look at them do the lengthy observe. They had been warming up and training, however it was cool as a result of we go in the summertime and by no means get to see the oval in use.
Raffaella Koncius (Pennsylvania State College) and Alexey Shchepetov (Temple College) (154.03) are the 2022 Lake Placid Championships bronze medalists.
IDC: What was the general impression you took house from the College Video games?
Raffaella & Alexey: It was completely unimaginable collaborating in such an unlimited worldwide occasion and seeing so many athletes from different international locations collaborating in the identical competitors you’re…it was surreal. It was additionally actually cool experiencing ice dance on a world stage like this, and seeing the great help every nation (and followers) had for his or her athletes.
IDC: What was it like marching into the Area with all of the athletes throughout the Opening Ceremonies?
Raffaella & Alexey: The opening ceremony won’t ever be forgotten. We felt like we had been marching within the opening ceremony on the Olympics. It was actually surreal. We felt a lot pleasure and honor with the ability to partake in one thing so huge, and it was so cool seeing USA march out final and getting the largest cheer. It was superior being backstage with all of the athletes from different international locations and seeing how genuinely joyful and excited everybody was to be there.
It didn’t really feel like this was a contest between international locations and athletes, however moderately a as soon as in a lifetime expertise that all of us acquired to share with one another.
IDC: Did you get to see different disciplines compete?
Raffaella & Alexey: We didn’t since determine skating was one of many first sports activities to compete. We needed to depart as quickly because the competitors was over with a view to get again to Florida and practice for Nationals. We did get to see a number of the velocity skaters training on their out of doors observe.
Raffaella: I actually wished to see the skiers! I used to be unhappy to have missed that.
IDC: Did you make some new mates?
Raffaella: Sure, We each made mates.
Raffaella: I undoubtedly acquired to know and grew nearer to the opposite skaters representing Group USA. It was good assembly dancers from different international locations!
How was this Lake Placid expertise totally different from competing in July?
Raffaella & Alexey: It was a lot totally different. This competitors felt MUCH greater, like a mini Olympics. Your entire Lake Placid village was reworked. There was a Group USA sales space, free S’extra stations down the road, flags for each the USA and different international locations all over the place, an enormous out of doors TV displaying stay determine skating occasions as they had been occurring. There have been folks on stilts, music, and a lot extra. I
It felt so heat and welcoming, together with creating an thrilling setting. It was a winter wonderland – it was snowing, the lakes had been frozen over, fairly a unique really feel than the summer time heat throughout LPIDI, however simply as lovely. And a LOT extra folks!
IDC: What is going to you keep in mind essentially the most in regards to the Video games?
Raffaella & Alexey: We are going to all the time keep in mind the insane quantity of help for Group USA on the video games. We might be strolling down the road in our Group USA gear and folks would continuously shout “Go staff USA!!” and begin cheering. It was actually cool.
Raffaella: One of many issues I’ll always remember is listening to ‘representing the USA of America…’ after which our names, adopted by the largest cheers we’ve ever heard.
Raffaella: This was by far the good competitors expertise ever. I’m so grateful to have been representing Group USA. I felt like I used to be a part of a large household whereas I used to be there. It was actually surreal. I wouldn’t have traded this expertise for the world. The quantity of pleasure felt by the athletes and followers displaying their help for Group USA was unimaginable.
Oona Brown & Gage Brown carried out within the exhibition-only. The New York siblings are the 2022 World Junior Ice Dance Champions.
IDC: What was it like skating your Free Dance within the College Video games Exhibition the final evening of determine skating?
Gage: That was enjoyable! There was a great crowd. It was good coaching follow earlier than the US Nationals two weeks later. It was an excellent expertise – our first time skating on the 1980 rink in a very long time (2019 LPIDI).