With 2024, the Challenger Series is Upon Us


Marigold IceUnity will skate their short program "Some Like It Hot" at the Lumiere Cup next weekend. (Credits: Ville Vairinen - 2023)

As the year 2024 kicks off, the world of synchronized skating holds its breath in anticipation of the upcoming Challenger Series. Junior and Senior ISU teams are poised to take to the ice for a season filled with excitement and fierce competition. We bring you an overview of the teams set to electrify the rinks in the early part of the year.

Synchronized skating enthusiasts worldwide eagerly await the start of the 2024 season of the Challenger Series, the highlights in the synchro's calendar. This year promises to be even more thrilling, with Junior and Senior ISU teams ready to vie for glory and medals.

The first Challenger Series event will be the Lumiere Cup in Eindhoven, Netherlands, from 11 to 14 January 2024. 

On the Junior ISU teams front, fans can expect spectacular performances. Indeed, a few teams have already showcased their potential in previous national and international competitions. 

The big nations will be in action, with Musketeers and Team Mystique from Finland, and Team Image and Skyliners Junior from the USA. France and Italy, with two teams, will also be well represented, although other teams to watch out for include Germany (Team Berlin Junior), Poland (Ice Fire) and Japan (Jingu Ice Messengers). 

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But spectators can also look forward to the Senior ISU side, as Marigold IceUnity and Lumineers will present their performances. Skating in their own country, the two Dutch teams will be there, not forgetting the Skyliners Senior (USA), who finished 2nd a few weeks ago at the Boston Synchronized Skating Classic with almost 200 points. 

With 13 Senior teams, the Budapest Cup will be a good preparation for the Worlds
Stage 2 of the Challenger Series will be the Budapest Cup in Hungary. The competition will take place from January 20 to 22 at the Vasas Jégcentrum.  

The organizers have already announced 9 ISU Senior teams, including Les Suprêmes from Canada, current world champions, their compatriots Nexxice, and the Haydenettes and Miami University for the USA. The Helsinki Rockettes and Team Unique will skate for Finland, and the two Swiss teams (yes, there are now two Senior ISU teams in Switzerland) have also been announced—their names are Starlight Elite and Cool Dreams. Team Passion (HUN), United Angels (GER), Zagreb Snowflakes (CRO), Les Zoulous (FRA) and Ice on Fire (ITA) complete the line-up. 

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Alongside the thirteen senior teams, 15 junior teams will be competing for top places in Budapest, representing eight nations. 

These teams are known for their creativity, impeccable synchronization, and ability to captivate the audience. Their rivalry will be intense this year, and seeing which one emerges on top will be fascinating.

The third leg of the Challenger Series will take place in Dumfries (GBR) on the last weekend of January at the Trophy D'Ecosse. The fourth event will be the Hevelius Cup in Poland. The series will then conclude in Helsinki on February 10 and 11 with the Marie Lundmark Trophy.