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  • Manny Melendez

Dazzle on the Ice! Team Figure Skating Has a Beautiful Showing at the Arctic Winter Games

Team figure skating began on Friday with a three-minute warmup for the “jumper” skaters. The first element was the single axel, a hypnotic introduction to the rest of the competition with Team Yukon going first. Watching all the skaters introduce themselves via their flexibility and speed while the crowd watched enthralled set the pace for the rest of the elements.

Double-double combination was next, starting with Alberta North, then Alaska, followed by Northwest Territories, and Yukon. All teams exhibited grace and agility even when some of their skaters missed turns or spins, though Team NT definitely led the others on the rink with a flawless double-double exhibition.

Double jump was the third element, beginning with Team Alaska, displaying gorgeous form despite a stumble at the very end. Team NT was after, with a restrained but competent display. Quite a few of the skaters across all teams stumbled on the ice during this element but the crowd, as they showed all throughout the event, were supportive and cheering everyone on! Team Yukon and Team Alberta North had good double jump runs, especially Alberta North, who recovered admirably from an initial stumble on the ice. There’s always a nail-biting moment or two during this element and today did not disappoint!

Jump sequence with axel was the next element with Team NT up first. They did a wonderful job, arguably the most poised in this element, side by side with Alberta North.

The rink did seem particularly wet today, with many of the skaters struggling to land axles or jumps, perhaps a result of the rink being wetted down just before the initial warm up. This does not, however, reflect on how capable each skater was in getting back up and continuing their performance, always a graceful balance between the human and the sport.

The fifth element was spins with Alberta North having a particularly strong showing in this element with some commendable knee control as they slid on the ice after each spin and some mesmerizing agility and dexterity. Alaska also showed beautiful spin control and symmetry on the rink, their second attempt likely one of the best in the competition, gathering quite the cheers and applause from the crowd. Team NT, with an intense swan-like pose that had the skater hold her chest to keep balance in the first attempt, was another Impressive moment during this element. What a hearty and dizzying collection of poses, a testament to every skater’s talent and devotion to their sport.

Spin combination with no change of foot with Alberta North up again first. Their first attempt impressed their coach enough for the skater to receive an emphatic nod from them! Alaska and NT also shined during this element, maybe the closest at this point of the competition. Yukon was also quite excellent during this element.

The steps sequence was the sixth element with Team Alaska opening it up. All teams seemed very, pun intended, in their element here, each providing a lovely and shining exhibition on the rink. Yukon, especially, nailed a lengthy and ambitious step sequence which had the crowd and the judges in rapt silence until the cheers broke.

With one final bow from all the teams, including an adorable wave that included all the skaters, figure skating came to an end, and although all teams highlighted impeccable sportsmanship and devotion to their talent and hard work, it was Alberta North who received the gold with 18.36 points, with Northwest Territories and Alaska being awarded silver and bronze, with 15.85 and 10.97 points respectively.


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