by Anne Calder
The World College Winter Video games is the biggest multi-collegiate athletic occasion on this planet. The occasion is held each two years within the odd 12 months. The 2023 Video games have 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, website 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 this planet. The primary occasion was held in 1933, the 12 months 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 latest distinctive expertise and in addition competing on the smaller summer season occasion.
Lorraine McNamara (College of Maryland) & Anton Spirodonov (Neighborhood School of Northern VA) (175.33) are the 2022 Lake Placid Ice Dance Worldwide (LPIDI) gold medalists.
IDC: What have been your total 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, but it surely 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 facet of the competitors, however Lake Placid in its personal proper is gorgeous and particularly for Staff USA such an Olympic spirit. It was only a properly rounded journey.
IDC: Describe your Opening Ceremony expertise.
Anton: We felt that the Opening Ceremony and assembly all the opposite athletes was superb. There was an enormous crowd – very receptive, very heat. It is going to go down as one in all my favourite competitions.
IDC: How was the Lake Placid expertise completely different from the summer season competitions?
Anton: It was a totally completely different expertise. On the Lake Placid Ice Dance Worldwide everyone is used to going. It’s virtually like coming dwelling each time, however this was such an enormous occasion. There have been so many alternative sports activities, nations and skaters and disciplines. We’ve by no means been to the Olympics but, however everyone mentioned it was just like the Olympic expertise – the Collegiate Olympics.
Lorraine: Once we go as much as LP in the summertime, we don’t get to see the velocity skating exercise. The oval was proper there, so to see it getting used was so cool. We truly met a couple of actually cool velocity skaters and bought to know them. They got here to look at us, and we watched them. Lake Placid is gorgeous in the summertime, but it surely’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 have been actually busy and targeted 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 as a consequence of 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 finished earlier than, and that was very cool.
IDC: What have 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 have been a bit completely different, so it was enjoyable. We didn’t fairly know what we have been going to get, however they have 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 finished 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 have been warming up and training, but it surely 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 unimaginable collaborating in such an unlimited worldwide occasion and seeing so many athletes from different nations collaborating in the identical competitors you might be…it was surreal. It was additionally actually cool experiencing ice dance on a world stage like this, and seeing the large 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 throughout the Opening Ceremonies?
Raffaella & Alexey: The opening ceremony won’t ever be forgotten. We felt like we have been marching within the opening ceremony on the Olympics. It was actually surreal. We felt a lot pleasure and honor having the ability to partake in one thing so large, and it was so cool seeing USA march out final and getting the most important cheer. It was superior being backstage with all of the athletes from different nations and seeing how genuinely joyful and excited everybody was to be there.
It didn’t really feel like this was a contest between nations and athletes, however reasonably 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 to be able to get again to Florida and prepare for Nationals. We did get to see a few of the velocity skaters training on their out of doors observe.
Raffaella: I actually wished to see the skiers! I used to be unhappy to have missed that.
IDC: Did you make some new pals?
Raffaella: Sure, We each made pals.
Raffaella: I positively bought to know and grew nearer to the opposite skaters representing Staff 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 greater, like a mini Olympics. The whole Lake Placid village was reworked. There was a Staff USA sales space, free S’extra stations down the road, flags for each the USA and different nations in all places, a large out of doors TV exhibiting dwell determine skating occasions as they have 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 atmosphere. It was a winter wonderland – it was snowing, the lakes have been frozen over, fairly a unique really feel than the summer season heat throughout LPIDI, however simply as lovely. And a LOT extra folks!
IDC: What’s going to you bear in mind essentially the most in regards to the Video games?
Raffaella & Alexey: We’ll all the time bear in mind the insane quantity of assist for Staff USA on the video games. We might be strolling down the road in our Staff USA gear and folks would continually shout “Go staff 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 most important cheers we’ve got ever heard.
Raffaella: This was by far the best competitors expertise ever. I’m so grateful to have been representing Staff USA. I felt like I used to be a part of a large household whereas I used to be there. It was actually surreal. I wouldn’t have traded this expertise for the world. The quantity of pleasure felt by the athletes and followers exhibiting their assist for Staff USA was unimaginable.
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 an excellent crowd. It was good coaching observe earlier than the US Nationals two weeks later. It was a terrific expertise – our first time skating on the 1980 rink in a very long time (2019 LPIDI).