MENTOR, Ohio - Much talk was made about the addition of the team figure skating event at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
But what many outside of the figure skating world probably don’t know is that an actual "team" figure skating event is already in existence and has been for years.
Synchronized Skating has been around for decades and skaters have been competing nationally and internationally for years. The sport began international competitions 20 years ago and is the last remaining figure skating event to not be recognized at the Olympic level.
Synchro supporters are hoping that this will change in four years, as a Twitter campaign and Change.org petition, #WhyNotSynchro2018 has started to gain some steam during the Olympics this year. The Change.org petition garnered more than 7,500 signatures in its first weekend (and currently stands at more than 12,000).
Synchronized skating is a team sport (people like to call it "Rockettes" on ice) where anywhere from 8-20 skaters perform a routine together of intricate formations and step sequences.
In Mentor, the "Ice Diamonds" Intermediate synchro team is training hard for their appearance in the U.S. Figure Skating Synchronized Championships in late February.
The team placed 3rd in the Midwestern & Pacific Coast Sectional Championship in January and is one of the top teams from greater Cleveland.
For these local skaters, the chance to train towards an Olympic goal would make the journey even more special.
"I think that synchronized skating has its own unique qualities of figure skating. If all the other participants have to be represented at the Olympics, then why not synchronized skating,” said Ice Diamonds skater Christina DiCola. "I think that it's definitely going to be in there one day. There's definitely more awareness about it. We just have to get people interested."
To learn more about the Mentor Ice Diamonds visit: http://icediamonds.org/
For more information on synchronized skating in the U.S. visit: http://www.usfsa.org/Programs.asp?id=44