Great Neck Park District’s Synchronized Skating teams competed at the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Empire State Winter Games in Lake Placid at the 1980 Olympic Ice Rink, which brought athletes together from across New York State and beyond.
The opening ceremonies kicked off the competition on Thursday, Feb. 4, when each athlete was presented with a competition warm-up jacket and was individually introduced in the historic arena as excited family and friends cheered them on. The event continued through Saturday, Feb. 6.
The Park District teams, The Ice Gems, Icicles and Icettes, enjoyed the preparation leading up to the competition almost as much as the event itself. Synchronized ice skating is unlike any other sport because the strength of the whole team is valued more than individual talent. Practicing teamwork is the most important element and it was a challenge for the entire team to depend on one another, moving in unison as they competed against the best teams in their division.
The Ice Gems, Great Neck’s Beginner Basic Skills 1 line, came in second place out of five teams. The Icicles, the Beginner Basic Skills 2 line, performed their best so far, placing fourth out of seven teams. Coaches Erica Beggs, Audra Smith and Carole Liotti are so proud of each team’s achievements. The Ice Gems and The Icicles will participate in their last competition on Feb. 28 at Chelsea Piers Sky Rink in New York City.
The Icettes did a great job, although this was their last competition of the season. Coach Liotti said, “The hard work paid off and we are hoping to continue to build this team for the 2016–17 season. The girls created strong bonds with one another and worked extremely hard on and off the ice. This is a special group who I am very fortunate to coach and manage.”
The community is welcome to come see the Synchro teams and Skate School students perform on Sunday, March 20, at the Annual Skate Show at the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink.