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Team Surprise wins exciting, delighting worlds

Haydenettes snag third straight world bronze; NEXXICE grabs silver

The bronze medal-winning Haydenettes jump for joy during their Lady Gaga free skate.
The bronze medal-winning Haydenettes jump for joy during their Lady Gaga free skate. (Leslie Graham)

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By Leslie Graham, special to icenetwork.com
(04/14/2012) - The 2012 World Synchronized Skating Championships have come to a close, but people will be talking about it for a long time. Going into Saturday's event, the top six teams were within 4.05 points of one another. The skaters, coaches, parents and fans alike all knew this meant the teams would have to deliver memorable, fast and exciting programs to earn a medal.

It is safe to say that "memorable," "fast" and "exciting" were exactly the words to describe the top three teams.

Team Surprise came out the big winners after placing third in the free skate. With a total of 194.87 points, Sweden 1 edged out Canada 1 (NEXXICE) for the top prize. Sweden had a lot of pressure put in front of it as it performed for its home crowd, and it lived up to expectations.

Skating a fun and exciting program to music from the movie Moulin Rouge, it had the crowd clapping along from top to bottom. Each skater wore a different colored dress, which added to the excitement. The program was highlighted by its split lifts (part of their movement in isolation), as well as its no hold step sequence.

Sweden 1 had the highest program component scores of the night, earning more than 9.00 in each mark except skating skills. It received the only 10.00 given out for the competition, for transitions.

Co-captains of Team Surprise, Hanna Andersson and Sofie Bergenholtz, were very excited for their team's win.

"We still don't get it," Andersson said. "It was so tight. We were very nervous, but it feels amazing."

After being off the podium since 2009, the girls said it meant everything to win the gold. They ended their statement about winning with one word: "finally."

Canada 1 earned the silver medal after a fourth-place finish in the free skate. Skating to the music from Micmacs, it performed an effortless and clean program showcasing their smooth edges and effortless skating. Its highest elements, which earned them 7.06 points each, were its movement in isolation, line and moves in the field sequence.

The Haydenettes skated their hearts out to a second-place finish in the free skate, moving them up to third place overall. USA 1 had the highest base value and technical elements score of the entire free skate competition. They performed their Lady Gaga program with a lot of energy and attitude.

When asked how excited they were to be world bronze medalists, co-captains Jenna Longo and Kelly Ottaviano both said it was amazing. They wanted to skate and have fun, and that is exactly what they did. They felt like they gave the crowd a "great show."

The Crystallettes maintained their 11th-place finish after the short program, with an equally strong free skate to a medley of Jennifer Lopez music. Their program was highlighted by a strong wheel, movement in isolation and angled intersection. The crowd enjoyed the music, as fans from all over the world were clapping along to the beat.

Coaches Shannon Peterson and Holly Teets were excited for the improvements the team made since nationals. They felt their skaters went out and executed a strong program. They were disappointed about missing some of the technical element calls but said they will be working hard to make improvements for next season.

Finland 2 (Rockettes) won the free skate and moved up a place to finish fourth. Paradise, winners of the short program, dropped to fifth place overall. Finland 1 (Marigold Ice Unity) dropped to sixth place overall after two falls in its angled intersection.