by Anne Calder
The World College Winter Video games is the biggest multi-collegiate athletic occasion on the earth. The occasion is held each two years within the odd yr. The 2023 Video games had been held in Lake Placid, NY and several 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 nations 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 ladies (34) singles and ice dance (13 groups).
The determine skating competitors was held on the Olympic Heart 1980 Herb Brooks Enviornment, web site of the “Miracle on Ice”. The constructing additionally homes the 1932 Jack Shea Enviornment, the primary Winter Olympic indoor ice floor and the USA Observe 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 Heart hosts the Ice Dance Championships, the oldest steady ice dance competitors on the earth. 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 current distinctive expertise and in addition competing on the smaller summer time occasion.
Lorraine McNamara (College of Maryland) & Anton Spirodonov (Group Faculty of Northern VA) (175.33) are the 2022 Lake Placid Ice Dance Worldwide (LPIDI) gold medalists.
IDC: What had been your general impressions of the Video games.
Lorraine: The power is gorgeous – magnificent. It was so memorable. It wasn’t simply the magical environment however due to the opposite athletes. You’re surrounded by such elite athleticism, so inspiring. Each competitors we go to is fantastic with completely different skaters from different nations, nevertheless it was completely different there assembly athletes from completely different disciplines.
It was actually outstanding and so inspiring since you see the drive and the hearth of each athlete another way 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 fantastic aspect 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 nicely rounded journey.
IDC: Describe your Opening Ceremony expertise.
Anton: We felt that the Opening Ceremony and assembly all the opposite athletes was wonderful. There was an enormous crowd – very receptive, very heat. It’s going to go down as one in every of my favourite competitions.
IDC: How was the Lake Placid expertise completely different from the summer time competitions?
Anton: It was a totally completely different expertise. On the Lake Placid Ice Dance Worldwide all people is used to going. It’s nearly like coming dwelling each time, however this was such an enormous occasion. There have been so many various sports activities, nations and skaters and disciplines. We’ve by no means been to the Olympics but, however all people stated 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 pace skating exercise. The oval was proper there, so to see it getting used was so cool. We truly met a number of actually cool pace skaters and bought to know them. They got here to look at us, and we watched them. Lake Placid is gorgeous in the summertime, nevertheless it’s additionally made to be a winter city. To see it in its absolute factor 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 completely 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 attributable to harm.
IDC: What was your expertise like on the Opening Ceremony?
Caleb: Doing the March into the Enviornment 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 completely 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 completely 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 bought 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 bought to see completely different athletes from completely different sports activities. We bought to look at them do the lengthy observe. They had been warming up and working towards, nevertheless 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 dwelling from the College Video games?
Raffaella & Alexey: It was completely unbelievable taking part in such an infinite worldwide occasion and seeing so many athletes from different nations taking part 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 assist every nation (and followers) had for his or her athletes.
IDC: What was it like marching into the Enviornment with all of the athletes through 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 really surreal. We felt a lot satisfaction and honor having 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 nations and seeing how genuinely comfortable and excited everybody was to be there.
It didn’t really feel like this was a contest between nations and athletes, however quite a as soon as in a lifetime expertise that all of us bought 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 in an effort to get again to Florida and prepare for Nationals. We did get to see a number of the pace skaters working towards on their out of doors observe.
Raffaella: I actually needed to see the skiers! I used to be unhappy to have missed that.
IDC: Did you make some new buddies?
Raffaella: Sure, We each made buddies.
Raffaella: I positively bought to know and grew nearer to the opposite skaters representing Group USA. It was good assembly dancers from different nations!
How was this Lake Placid expertise completely different from competing in July?
Raffaella & Alexey: It was a lot completely different. This competitors felt MUCH larger, 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 nations in every single place, a large out of doors TV exhibiting reside 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 surroundings. 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 stunning. And a LOT extra folks!
IDC: What’s 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 assist for Group USA on the video games. We might be strolling down the road in our Group USA gear and folks would continually shout “Go group USA!!” and begin cheering. It was actually cool.
Raffaella: One of many issues I’ll always remember is listening to ‘representing the US of America…’ after which our names, adopted by the largest cheers now we have ever heard.
Raffaella: This was by far the best competitors expertise ever. I’m so grateful to have been representing Group USA. I felt like I used to be a part of an enormous household whereas I used to be there. It was really surreal. I wouldn’t have traded this expertise for the world. The quantity of satisfaction felt by the athletes and followers exhibiting their assist for Group USA was unbelievable.
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 night time of determine skating?
Gage: That was enjoyable! There was a very good crowd. It was good coaching follow earlier than the US Nationals two weeks later. It was an ideal expertise – our first time skating on the 1980 rink in a very long time (2019 LPIDI).