of Synchronized Skating
The Oxford Skating Society in England mentions that skaters were participating in groups of up to twelve skaters in "combined figure skating" events as early as 1838. The sport as we know it today began in 1954 with the formation of the first true "precision skating team" in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Throughout the 1960's, teams began forming in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Ontario, and Quebec. It wasn't long before the first local precision competitions were held, soon followed by the first international competition in 1976 between U.S. and Canadian teams.
In 1983, Canada held its first sanctioned national precision skating championships. The first U.S. Figure Skating Association (USFSA) national precision championships soon followed in 1984. The sport grew wildly, particularly along the U.S.-Canadian border, and soon spread overseas. By 1987, Japan and Australia had become the first non-North American countries participating in international precision skating competitions.
Precision team skating received the ISU's official recognition as a discipline of figure skating in 1994, and that same year, the ISU began sanctioning international competitions, with fifteen countries participating. In 1996 the first ISU World Precision Challenge Cup was held in Boston, Massachusetts.
the ISU adopted a more internationally understood term, "synchronized
skating," as the official name of the sport. The very first World
Synchronized Skating Championships were held in Minneapolis, Minnesota,
in 2000, with twenty-one teams from seventeen countries competing.
Moves in the Field became a requirement for U.S. synchro teams as of
the 2003-2004 competitive season.
Synchronized skating is popular around the world. In the USA, many colleges and universities are now starting to offer scholarships to synchronized skaters.
There was a "fours" event featuring two pair skating couples in the Canadian and United States North American Championships that were held bi-annual in alternating cities in Canada and the United States between 1923 and 1971. The competition was discontinued after 1971. Refer to List of Champions.
The North American Figure Skating Championships existed as a competition only for Canadian and United States senior-level events. This competition was an internation competition for North America and served the same purpose as the European figure skating chmapionships. Skaters must be fifteen as of July 1 the previous year to compete.
Up until 1948, skaters representing any ISU Member country could enter the European Championships. The Four Continents Figure Skating Championships was established by the ISU in 1999 as the equivalent competition for skaters from non-European countries.
Retrospective of the 1961 North American Championships
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