ROCKFORD – The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (RACVB) announced that the city will host the 2017 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships Feb. 23-25 at downtown’s BMO Harris Bank Center.
An estimated 94 teams comprised of more than 1,500 skaters will compete for national accolades with 5,000 visitors expected to be in attendance. Skaters ranging in age from 9 to 65, participants and spectators will travel to the Rockford region from all across the country for the three-day event.
Synchronized skating consists of teams of eight to 20 skaters performing high speed, intricate formations and challenging step sequences. Teams are judged on their ability to work simultaneously, choreographing circular, linear, block, wheel, and intersection elements to music. The teams are required to perform difficult step sequences involving a number of complicated turns and movements.
Senior-level teams will compete to represent Team USA at the 2017 World Synchronized Skating Championships, set for April 7-8 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Teams at the junior and senior levels will also compete for the opportunity to be placed in the 2018 International Selection Pool.
“We’re excited to welcome the coaches, skaters and spectators for the 2017 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships to the Rockford region for the first time. It’s certainly an honor to have nationally-recognized skaters from so many areas of the country here competing for international accolades,” said Lindsay Arellano, RACVB director of sales and servicing. “We are looking forward to ensuring their experience in our community is memorable both on and off the ice.”
“On behalf of the Starlights Synchronized Skating Teams, we are excited and proud to welcome nearly 100 of the nation’s top teams to Rockford for this prestigious event. We’re honored that U.S. Figure Skating chose us to serve as host and have been working very hard to make this a memorable event for all attendees,” says Sally-Anne Kaminski, Local Organizing Committee marketing chair.
Carlson Ice Arena and Riverview Ice House, facilities of the Rockford Park District, will serve as practice rinks and Revolution Synchronized Skating Team, representing the Rockford Skating Club, will perform during the Opening Ceremony.
“We are thrilled to support the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships by providing a world class practice facility and are thrilled that athletes who shine on ice will be in the national spotlight. It’s great to skate and the Rockford Park District offers a variety of lessons, clinics, and camps to fit the needs of all our citizens. Skating is a skill you will use your entire life,” said Monique Bailey, Figure Skating Director.
RACVB estimates that the event will generate more than $600,000 in economic activity for the city.