Nadine Banholzer (SUI) skates with Team Nexxice (CAN) @Sean McKinnon
Many Synchronized Skating Alumni are known to pursue careers in the sport. Some become Technical Specialists or Judges, others focus on building awareness for the sport through NGO’s. And the third type of alumni are skaters that start coaching the next generation of skaters. Nadine Banholzer’s passion has led her to help young and passionate skaters to fulfil their dreams.
She became the new head coach of Team Cool Dreams Junior, a Synchronized Skating team based in Bern (SUI) and is helping to develop the sport in her hometown.
While finishing her higher education Banholzer was skating with Cool Dreams Senior and competed at the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships in Hamilton (CAN) back in 2015. She was inspired by her idols Team Nexxice, who won the Championships on home ice, and she decided that she was going to skate with a World Champion Team. After finishing her higher education, she tried out for Nexxice and made the team.
Nadine Banholzer (SUI) competes with Team Nexxice (CAN) during the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships 2018 in Stockholm (SWE) @ISU (International Skating Union)
Nexxice is known for their intricate skating skills, powerful yet delicate programs with a storyline to round off their performance. With a lineup of coaches these skaters have become the most elegant team on the ice, known for their fairy-like presence.
After a very strenuous summer training camp Banholzer felt ready for a season in a top team. Her passion and perseverance for the sport helped her stay motivated and improve her skating style to the point, that she skated in lead roles in the team’s programs.
When the pandemic hit, the future of Synchro in Canada was very uncertain. But instead of living in uncertainty, Banholzer took her destiny into her own hands and went back to Switzerland, where she started to coach in her former club. It soon became clear that she would take over the role of head coach of the Synchro Team and would oversee developing the community around Bern. The goal was to help grow the passion, popularity and knowledge of Synchronized Skating in Switzerland, and to be able to play a part in the development of the sport as a whole.
“During the sessions, I try to incorporate many exercises that I learnt during my years in Nexxice.”, Banholzer comments. During the past season she focused on skating skills and started teaching the basics of stroking, to help Team Cool Dreams Junior find their unison in skating. “I know it’s hard, especially since we don’t have the amount of training sessions as I used to have in Canada. Therefore, we can’t go through all the details and that’s why it’s not 100% possible to mimic the skating style.”, Banholzer adds.
The goal for the future is to have a Synchronized Skating academy in Bern, where skaters from a young age can join and pursue their dreams. Banholzer is already showing results in her new coaching role, as she led Team Cool Dreams Junior to a new personal best score at the ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships 2022 in Innsbruck, Austria.
Team Cool Dreams (SUI) perform during the ISU World Junior Synchronised Skating Championships 2022 in Innsbruck (AUT) @ISU (International Skating Union)
The next big step on Banholzer’s journey is to develop and train skaters to an elite level and help grow the Synchronized Skating Community in Switzerland.