Trophy D’Ecosse 2017

Nexxice Senior (CAN) performing the first of two lifts in their free program. /Credits : Mike Docherty

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On February 10-12, Scotland hosted the 7th annual Trophy D’Ecosse (TDE) at the Dumfries Ice Bowl. The joined ISU event and inter-club competition attracted athletes from 50 teams.

“It was a fabulous weekend,” said TDE Chair, Anne-Marie Coxon. “[We had] a pop up photo booth and Wi-Fi throughout the building so that everyone could share news of the event and performances.”

At the Senior level, NEXXICE (CAN) wowed crowds and took the title with a total of 189.62 points. Silver medal winners, Team Del Sol (USA), travelled all the way from California and earned 128.15 points. British Champions, Zariba (GBR) captured the bronze with a total of 87.03 points.

NEXXICE co-captain, Kiersten Tietz offered her thoughts on the event: “We received such an enthusiastic, warm welcome from the crowd at Trophy D'Ecosse and we hope that our participation in this event encourages the development of Synchronized Skating in the UK,” said Tietz.

Zariba coach, Sara Paterson, reflects on her team’s experience.

“As a coach, I would summarize that the Trophy D'Ecosse is one of the highlights of our season,” said Paterson. “I'm absolutely in awe of that [NEXXICE] team, not only by their skating, skill and elegance, but by the manner in which they conduct themselves as a team. It's really something to aspire to.”

At the Junior level, Solway Stars (GBR) took home the gold with 83.05 points. At the Junior B level, Les Chrysalides (FRA) won the title (69.79) and silver went to Team Destiny (GBR) with 57.46 points, narrowly passing Unum (GBR) with 57.38 points.

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Solway Stars ISU Junior (GBR) claiming gold to Danny Elfman’s Alice in Wonderland. /Credits : Mike Docherty

Les Chrysalides (FRA) enjoyed their trip across the channel.

“We loved the four days we spent in Dumfries for the Trophy d'Ecosse 2017,” said Les Chrysalides team member, Mathieu Duss'art. “During the competition, we felt so welcomed. What we loved most was the fun we had at the Saturday night [skater’s] party. Everybody was so nice, and it was great to talk and dance with teams from all around the world.”

Anne-Marie Coxon also enjoyed the skater’s party. She admitted, “Seeing skaters from around the world having a fabulous time as they tried to perfect the art of Scottish ceilidh dancing” was her favourite part.

Team Destiny skater, Charlotte Hubbard comments on her team’s experiences and the wonderfully supportive atmosphere: “To be around people who love the sport just as much as you... it's simply the best,” said Hubbard. Co-captain of Team Phoenix (GBR), Evangeline Perry, agrees. “Words cannot describe the incredible atmosphere in the arena,” said Perry. “As we made our way back to the dressing room [after performing], the ‘congratulations’ from all were overwhelming. This just goes to show what an amazing community synchro has and how bringing it together through the OneTeamMVMT can create special moments like these for skaters at all levels of the sport.”

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Skaters from different teams signed “I love synchro because…” signs together /Credits : OTM

“You can’t help but feel a sense of togetherness at the Trophy D’Ecosse,” said Anne-Marie. “We do not have stadium-sized capacity, and as such, there is never a spare seat in the house at this event. This means the atmosphere is just incredible and skaters have often commented that the energy from the crowd helps with their performances.”

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Team Shadows ISU Novice (GBR) on the podium, joined by Christopher Buchanan (ISU). /Credits : Mike Docherty

Trophy D’Ecosse is also a OTM flashmob favourite event for Solway Stars’ (GBR) skater Molly Coxon. “We [got to do] the official OTM flashmob this year, and it was great to see so many people from all over performing this together,” said Molly Coxon. “Parents and supporters were videoing us and joining in from the stands. It just felt like the whole rink was one. I've always found that synchro has been a difficult sport to make friends outside of your team with, but ever since OneTeamMVMT was created, I've felt a real sense of unity in the synchro world. [OTM] has not only united and raised awareness for our sport, but is also giving something back to synchro teams. [I hope more] people get on board, because I truly believe that if we all work together, synchronized skating will make its mark on the sporting world and will have its best chance yet of being accepted into the Olympics.”

The energy behind OTM was certainly building this weekend and the movement is gaining momentum.

“This year we encouraged skaters to tell us why they love synchro through the OneTeamMVMT flashcards,” said Anne-Marie Coxon. “The skaters really enjoyed getting creative with their words and pictures – they also loved seeing what others had written on the OTM wall.”

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A collection of signs on the OTM Wall. /Credits : OTM

“We are very lucky [to] receive financial assistance from the local authority, Dumfries & Galloway Council. They recognize the value, both economically and culturally, that this event brings to our region” said Anne-Marie Coxon, on how they manage to keep such a successful event free for the public to attend. “We want spectators to relax and enjoy the fabulous skating while here, and will continue this way as long as we can.” Coxon hopes even more teams will come to experience a “fabulous Scottish welcome to Dumfries” in the coming years.

Article written by Darcie Dixon and Lisa Miadovnik, edited by Kristen Loritz - OneTeamMVMT