November Skater in Residence – Kelly Britten describes how the Nexxice Senior team prepared to compete at the 2015 World Synchronized Skating Championships held in Hamilton, Ontario.
Whenever people ask me about the 2015 World Championships in Hamilton Ontario, they always skip right to the end; the final result. However, to me, the gold medal was only a small detail of the whole event.
The most vivid memory of the weekend, for me, was actually entering the arena from behind the curtain and stepping onto the ice for our short program. Throughout the many weeks leading up to the competition, we practiced with a “clapping track” layered over our program music. The goal was to prepare for the deafening screams and cheers of the proud Canadians in the audience, although there was no “clapping track” available in Canada that could have ever prepared someone for the volume of this Canadian crowd.
The amount of energy and support we were able to feel on the ice, even just as we were lining up against the boards to begin our stroking block, was unforgettably incredible. The roar of the voices and sea of the red and white was quite possibly one of the coolest moments of my entire competitive synchronized skating career. There was this unique sense of calm amongst the team on the ice in contrast to the excitement in the rink. However, in the days leading up to the event, as a team, we had begun feeling the outside pressure to become World Champions in our home country on home ice.
A couple of weeks before the event, we sat down as a team and talked through all the outside pressures we were feeling in anticipation so that we could let them go and just skate for ourselves. As a team, we wanted to be able to enjoy the moment for what it was; skating at the world championships on home soil. A chance like that does not come around too often for us! We talk often about “the bubble” in training and in competition and we use “the bubble” to narrow our focus and be in the moment. “The bubble” allowed us to trust our training, perform no more and perform no less than what we already knew. This aspect of our training helped me immensely. I felt prepared to do what I needed to do in front of an excited crowd of my family, friends, and fellow Canadians.
I do not really remember much of the full performance, just little moments throughout the program. However taking the bow, I will never forget, I let it all sink in and the smile on my face could not have been any bigger. The pride in my heart, for what we had just left out on the ice, in our HOME COUNTRY made me want to jump and cry all at the same time.