Bay Area synchronized skating team to compete in nationals

February 25, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Synchronized ice skating is not an Olympic sport yet, but it is the fastest growing segment of the figure skating world. The sport is already popular in the East and Midwest, and now a Bay Area team is proving California can compete as well. In fact, they're headed for the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championship on Tuesday.

UPDATE: The Tremors came in 6th place in the National competition, their best showing ever.

"It focuses on unison, synchronization, with all of the requirements that technical figure skating has, but there are 16 to 20 girls, connected, trying to do it all at once," said Tremors Synchronized Skating Director Paige Scott.

They're called the San Francisco Tremors, but the girls come from high schools all over the Bay Area.

At the Pacific Coast Championship they got their highest score ever; winning not only a silver medal, but also the right to compete in nationals.

We caught up with the team as they practiced at the Yerba Buena Skating Center.

"We have a great group of girls this year. They really get along. We've had a pretty difficult year in that we started with one routine and we changed it midway through the season. We've seen a lot of success since we made that change," head coach Lindsey Wolkin said.

Many of the girls have been skating together since elementary school. The Tremors started in 1999. And of team's first skaters is back now as assistant coach. It's fun, but it can be scary.

"It's speed, it's not knowing what's going to happen when you cut through an intersection," sophomore Emily Chin said. "Like, are they going to make it? Or is somebody going to fall?"

There are all kinds of required formations in each performance, and the girls must also be good individual skaters.

Kimberly Verzano is a high school senior. This is her last year on the Tremors and she is savoring every moment.

"It's more than just the teamwork on ice, but it's the friendships that you make on the team as well that makes it the most wonderful experience," Verzano said.

The girls compete for the national intermediate title on Wednesday in Michigan.

Skating is expensive, so the Tremors are always fundraising. If you'd like to help out or find out about trying out for the team, click here.

Update: The San Francisco Tremors came in 6th place in the U.S. National Synchronized Skating Championship.

Written and produced by Jennifer Olney


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