The ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships 2014 will be held in Courmayeur, Italy, on April 4 and 5. Italy hosts the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships for the first time. The ISU introduced the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships in 2000 and the first took place in Minneapolis, USA. The first ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships was held in Helsinki, Finland, in 2013.
23 teams from 18 ISU members have been entered for the ISU World Synchronized Championship 2014. A team consists of 16 skaters (plus up to four alternates). The athletes on the ice should move in one flowing unit at high speed and perform a number of elements such as steps, blocks, wheels, moves in the field and lifts as well as isolated moves.
The Short Program consists of five required elements: block, circle, intersection, moves in the field, no hold element (executed in a block configuration including a step sequence feature). A well balanced Free Skating Program consists of ten elements (block, circle step sequence, creative element, group lift, two different intersections, line element, moves in the field or spin, no hold element, wheel).
Finland, Sweden, Canada and the USA are the leading ISU members in Synchronized Skating. Finland has claimed a total of 17 medals in the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championship so far, including seven gold medals. Sweden ranks second with 11 medals (six gold), while Canada has nine medals (one gold) and the USA collected five medals since the inaugural World Championships in 2000.
2014 silver medalists Nexxice (Canada 1) and bronze medalists Haydenettes (USA 1) are back and want to challenge for the podium again. Marigold Ice Unity (Finland 1) as well as Team Surprise (Sweden 1) are aiming for the top of the podium as well. The Swedes of Team Surprise finished off the podium in 2013, placing 7th . The 2013 World Champions, Team Unique (FIN), did not make the Finnish team this year.
There are also teams from Australia, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Spain and Switzerland competing.
A live stream will be available on the ISU Skating Channel.
The schedule of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2014 is as follows:
Friday, April 4: Short Program
Saturday, April 5: Free Skating