APRIL 2022
Dear Skyliners,

It's been another fantastic season for Skyliners!

Big congrats to our Junior World Silver medalists! Two years ago our Junior line left the 2020 Junior World Championships without getting to compete as the world was hit with Covid. After months of hard work on and off the ice, they are the 2022 World Junior Silver Medalists!

We are also so proud of our Novice Blue National Silver medalists, Senior and Junior National Bronze medalists, and beautiful skates by Intermediate and Juvenile at Nationals!

And as one season ends, another begins. This issue of SkyBlast features the End of the Year Party photos, Summer Splice information, a special Unified Line spotlight, Summer Boot Camp dates, and year-end diaries. Go Skyliners!!
The music was jamming, feet were dancing, and many smiles could be seen all over the End of Year Party on March 26th at the Italian Center of Stamford! Skaters, coaches and parents all had a great time celebrating a fantastic season for Skyliners! Congratulations to all our 5 and 10 year skaters! Additional congratulations and best wishes to our graduating Seniors - you will be missed!

Check out some of the highlights from the party!
The magnet vendor provided us a link for viewing and downloading the photo booth photos! Download pin is 3299
Thank you, Jill Stanek, for putting together a fantastic year end video!!!

For those who missed the premiere at last night’s party or want to watch again, click on the link below.

A special thanks to the End of Year Party volunteers, especially Leslie Goudie, Elvira Medus, and Anastasia Pryanikova for chairing this wonderful event!
Summer Splice is back!

Save the dates:
June 25 & 26

More information to come!

By Katerina Sicard and Amanda Zhong

This year Skyliners welcomed a new Unified line based out of Essex, New Jersey. Every Wednesday night, Special Olympic athletes and Skyliners helpers worked hard to perfect our “Grease” program! Through much dedication from the adaptive skaters and the persistence of the unified “buddies,” we were able to put together a heart-warming “Grease Lightening Program” for both a special skaters exhibition and the New Jersey Winter Special Olympic Games!

The rink was filled with excitement and anticipation since the junior unified helpers, Jocelyn Xu, Alana Devirgilio, Chelsea Peng, Emily Zhao, and Christine Song, were competing for the world silver medal in Austria! Even though their help and positive presence were greatly missed, the last-minute generosity of skaters Cammie Hestevolt, Jodi Tang, Stephanie Sicard, Zoe Taub, and Olivia Rowell and the continued persistence and dedication of the unified athletes, we were able to receive the gold medal! As leather jackets and good sentiments were passed throughout the rink, it was beautiful to see the close bonds and genuine passion for skating being shared. As we skated for many parents and spectators, it was heartwarming to be reminded of what skating is truly about: the bonds we create with others and the passion we all share. Finally, we wanted to thank the skaters Alex, Michael, Thomas, Baylee, Ryan, Angelina, Alessio, Zachary, and Matt. It was an honor to skate with you and see you grow as skaters this past year. We have never known a group of skaters to show up with a bigger smile to every practice and be so eager to skate and improve. Your compassion for one another and eagerness to skate have been one of the most inspiring experiences of our lives. Another thank you to Coach Janet and Coach Heidi for allowing us to assist in such a fantastic line and being such wonderful and kind coaches. As Skyliners, we are proud of all the unified line has accomplished and can’t wait to see how the line and individuals progress! 
The Beginner Black “best friends” wrapped up their first synchro season with a strong skate at the Connecticut Synchronized Skating Classic. It was a bittersweet day as the girls skated together as a line for the last time this season. We are looking forward to next season!

The Beginner Blue had a fantastic season! Their skating skills grew as well as their love for synchronized skating! We are so proud of this line!

The NJ Skyliners Beginner finished the season with a third gold medal at CT Synchro Classic in Hamden, CT. The line is extremely grateful to their talented coaches, Lori, Shannon and Alex, who devoted time and energy into developing these inexperienced synchro skaters into an award winning line. Good job skaters! We can’t wait to see you skate next season.

CP Beginner ended the season with a beautiful performance at the Wollman Rink Ice Show. The girls were thrilled to skate their program outside under the lights in Central Park. CP Beginner is grateful to our amazing coaches, Alex and Sarah, for a wonderful season. The girls made lasting friendships and improved their skating skills immensely. They cannot wait for next season!

What an awesome way to end a season! The Preliminary line took gold at CT Classic! Skyliners rocked it! Thanks to the hard work and excellent coaches for teaching our girls to the best they can be. Thank you to the amazing Line Moms for taking care of our girls - hair, make up, cleaning dresses, finding lost clothes, picking up their trash. Thank you to the wonderful parents for the tremendous support and encouragement. We're all very proud of being part of Skyliners.

The New Jersey Preliminary line had an incredible season finishing with three gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal. The line celebrated their success with an end of the season party and got to dress up in costumes for their final skate. The line also took time to celebrate their amazing coaches Lori, Shannon, and Alex. The NJ Preliminary Line and their families send a huge congratulations to the other Skyliners for all their successes this year! GO SKYLINERS!

CP Preliminary finished out the season with a 4th place win at the Connecticut Synchronized Skating Classic. The line had a great time performing their routine for the last time. They loved working with Alex and Sarah and creating memories together. 

Pre Juvenile had a great end to the season placing 2nd at the Connecticut Classic in February. They are thrilled to have placed either 1st and 2nd this entire season for every competition, and they are so proud of how far they have come since Spring of 2021. This group of skaters were all new to Skyliners Pre Juve, and they formed lasting friendships that they will have for years to come, inside and outside of skating. We asked them to share words that they'd use to describe this season, and here is what they shared: Exciting! Skytastic! Like my sisters! Hard Working! Life changing! Like a bowl of blue Sour Patch Kids! Eye opening! Well done! One big family (my second family)! They are grateful for the support of their families and amazing coaches, and so excited for what's in store next year for Skyliners!

Juvie went to their first Nationals! It was incredible to be among so many high-level athletes in one place. The line practiced hard, but also managed to play one day thanks to a well-placed mini golf course on our way home. Mostly, the girls loved being together in this environment, watching fellow Sky lines and their competitors, admiring advanced skills, and aspiring to learn.  We can't wait until next year!
By Ellie Goudie

Intermediate has had an incredible season this year, and an unforgettable Nationals in Colorado Springs! For many skaters, it was their first Nationals, and after a year of practice and training, we were more than excited. After a late night following touching down in Colorado, we enjoyed a rare chance to sleep in at a competition, and had a team practice the next day in an Olympic training rink next to the Broadmoor Arena. Afterwards, we took a trip to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and fed the friendly giraffes lettuce and rode the carousel as a team, occupying every horse. 

Directly across from our hotel was a Target, so after dinner we went over to get slushies, candy, swimsuits, and for one room, a waffle maker, as well as Coach Nikki getting supplies for cards and gift bags to give to other Intermediate lines. Together we wrote good luck messages and put together candy bags for other competitors. 

The day before competing we had an early morning practice at the Air Force Academy and official practice in the arena. Before our unofficial later that day, we saw that the University of Michigan’s collegiate synchro team was on the ice before us, so Coach Nikki, an alum, taught us the UMich fight song and we cheered on their final run through of their practice. During our practice, we had a cheering section of our own, a group of teenage hockey players who cheered when we did our whip intersection and our duck under spirals. Halfway through, we stopped to watch the livestream of Novice Blue’s skate, and in our haste forgot to disconnect from the rink’s bluetooth speaker, giving the zamboni driver an earful of the sounds of the Prince of Egypt as we watched their skate from the locker room. 

The next morning we rose bright and early (4:30am for a few of us) for competition day. We had a 6:40 am practice, and cheered on Juv as we watched their run throughs. We prepped our hair and makeup and headed to the rink, nervous but excited for the biggest moment of the season. We had without a doubt our best skate of the year, with a score and performance we were proud of. After watching the rest of the Intermediate flight, snapping a selfie with our team favorite synchro influencer and cheering on Senior, starring Coach Jordan, we went to get on the bus to head back to the hotel. Since the bus couldn't hold both Senior and our line at once, Senior went to the hotel first and we waited outside the arena. To pass the time, we turned on our speaker, Beefkit the Second, and had a final celebratory Nationals mosh pit together to Alvin and the Chipmunks’ Party Rock Anthem. 

As a line, we’ve had an incredible season, and are so happy we got to skate together. This season’s return to synchro competitions has been a success!

One of the many reasons that the Skyliner families continue to support this beautiful sport is because it teaches valuable life lessons. Synchronized skaters learn to persevere while having safe failures that will enable them to tackle future life obstacles head on. They get to experience tremendous successes and unfortunate disappointments in a supportive environment. In the end, every synchronized skater needs discipline and resilience to wake up early for an extra practice when their bodies would rather stay in bed, perform alone in front of a panel of judges to pass their tests, and pop up from a fall to get right back in the line. While not making it to nationals this year was a disappointment, the Skyliner Novice Black season can certainly not be summed up by the nine minutes of competition time these beautiful skaters had on the ice. And if nothing else, no one on this line will ever let a ticket to nationals be taken for granted. Their future success will have been earned, and their nationals vests will be treasured!
Novice Black is a line that improved and grew all season. Accomplished skaters ranging in age from 13-18 became good friends and learned to skate together, support each other, laugh together and simply had an unforgettable time. We are endlessly grateful to Coach Pam and Coach Sennett for creating a beautiful program and helping the skaters improve all season. We will miss seeing those blue dresses glide out on the ice and can’t wait to get back to work to achieve our goals next season.
By Keira Zheng

Filled with excitement and determination, we hopped off a plane at the Denver airport with our dream and skate bags in hand. The beautiful view of all the snowy mountains from outside the bus windows stunned us all and we rushed to take many pictures and selfies together. Then, we threw one of our mini bus dance parties and sang to some of our favorite songs like Party Rock Anthem and You Belong With Me, starting our week off with lots of laughs and screams.

The next morning we woke up bright and early for breakfast, ready for our first practices in Colorado Springs. We ate a yummy lunch in the hotel courtyard with the whole line and played 2 of our favorite team games, Zoo and Elephant Master, which got us ready to warm up for our practice. After an amazing practice, we headed back to the hotel to get some rest, but because our snacks for the competition hadn’t arrived in time, the whole line took a quick trip to Target across the street and bought many treats and toys like a giant Squishmallow! We were able to capture many memories and share lots of laughter and happiness together. Before we knew it, it was time for dinner. We all got ready to pick up the dinner, only to find out that it got canceled! So being the awesome line moms they are, Sally and Mama G quickly figured out a back up plan and decided to bring us across the street to Chilis, where we played card games and watched the Olympic Ice Dance on the TVs. After a busy day, the line went to bed to get a good night's sleep before our official practice the next day!

On Wednesday, after getting some light hair and makeup done in our rooms, we headed down to the hotel lobby for lunch. However, we discovered that our order had gotten canceled for the second time! The cancellation was on such short notice, that the only food that our superhero line moms could think up of was some delicious instant ramen and Little Bite muffins. Everyone sat in a circle as we finished our ramen and muffins and we played some more of our team songs to get us excited for official practice. While we didn’t have the best official practice performance, it made us even more determined and excited to skate even better. Sally and Mama G then surprised us with a quick frozen yogurt trip with many sprinkles and chocolate! Later in the evening after eating our dinner, most of us decided to take pictures and make One Direction tiktoks in the pretty hotel courtyard, where we created many funny videos and moments we will never forget. Following a tiring day, we all slept very early to make sure we got enough rest before our competition day!

Finally, it was the day we worked towards this whole year… Competition day! We all woke up fired up and ready to skate and give 150% to our performance. We completed our elaborate makeup and helped each other put our fake eyelashes and earrings on as well as loads of gel and hairspray to make our hair nice and slicked back. As the nerves started to flow in, we all took some deep breaths together and gave each other little pep talks and began saying our pre-competition cheers for the last time this season. We filed into the locker room and eagerly put on our dresses and taped up our skates, while we played and danced to some more music by Taylor Swift and Harry Styles. As we got on the ice, we heard the loud cheers from the crowd as we lined up in our starting position for one final time. Everyone took a deep breath together and then our music started. One element at a time, we nailed each and every single element. I can proudly say that we put everything out on that ice and gave it everything that we possibly could’ve done. We skated the best that we have the entire season, earning us our seasons best of 88.48, placing us into second place! Overwhelmed with emotions, we gave each other many hugs as we cried many happy tears. The tireless practices, week after week for the last 10 months, had finally paid off and we are so proud to say that we are the 2022 U.S National Silver medalists for the Novice Division! 

We decided to go celebrate our incredible skate at the beautiful Golden Bee restaurant. We took many line selfies with Sally and Galia and took pictures of the beautiful lakes and mountains. Finishing a lovely dinner, everyone then headed back to the rink for the award ceremony. However, we arrived at the rink just to find out that there were no more locker rooms available! So we all filed into the arena bathrooms and began changing as quickly as possible, making this moment a first for many of us. The ceremony was breathtaking for all of us as we skated onto the ice holding hands in pairs and took that final bow as a line. Everything felt like a movie with everyone desperately trying to snap as many photos and taking many line selfies together. It was truly a moment that none of us would ever forget and I am so grateful I got to experience it with my closest friends. 

We completed our trip with one last surprise trip from our line moms… a trip to the zoo! There were so many cool experiences we were able to have such as feeding giraffes, and riding a ski lift over the entire zoo. It was a once in a lifetime adventure and we are beyond thankful to our Sally and Mama G for organizing such an unbelievable event. 

Sadly, after an incredible season with the best line, it was finally time to say our final goodbyes and give our last hugs to each other. The entire line was sobbing in the middle of Laguardia Airport and it was definitely a bittersweet moment for all of us. We were able to walk out of the airport with our heads held high and knowing we have come so far since the beginning of the year together. 

To our amazing coaches, Pam May and Alex Sais, thank you. Thank you for always pushing us to be the best we can be. Thank you for encouraging us to keep going even when things get tough. And thank you for being our number one supporters this whole year. We truly owe so much to you guys for making this season one of the greatest and one that we will never forget.

To our exceptional line moms, Sally and Mama G, we couldn’t ask for any better second moms. We are so incredibly grateful that you guys were there for us at every practice and every competition. Whether it was finding last minute restaurants when our orders got canceled, ironing dresses at midnight, or cheering us up when we were down, you guys never hesitated to be there for us and made this season extraordinary. We will forever look up to you and follow the remarkable example that you have set for us.

To all the awesome parents of the Novice Blue skaters, we are so thankful to have you as our biggest fans. Thank you for driving us to practices almost every single weekend without complaining and devoting yourselves to helping us be the best skaters and people we can be. We could never imagine doing this without you guys by our side and at every step of the way.

And finally, to all 21 of my best friends and teammates, I would not be who I am today without each and every one of you. I have gained so many lifelong friendships that I will forever cherish and for that, I am so thankful. From the moment we take that first step on the ice, to all the locker room dance circles, and from our apple picking and friendsgiving trips, to all of our hotel shenanigans, we have been by each other’s side from the start and I wished that this season never had to end. The trust, loyalty and respect that we have for one another has created an unbreakable bond that will last a lifetime. Words cannot describe the amount of love I have for all of you and how grateful I am to have met you guys. We have accomplished unbelievable achievements this season and now, we are each ready to complete even more. So to finish this off on a good note, everyone give me a “S-K-Y SKYNOV!”
By Yurika Sakai

What an amazing season! It’s hard to believe that just two weeks ago, SkyJunior was in Innsbruck, Austria competing at the Junior World Championships. Here’s a little rundown of the experience!

We arrived in Innsbruck on Monday, March 14th, after taking a bus ride from the airport in Munich, Germany, and headed to a two hour practice on the official competition rink. Despite being on tired legs after a 10+ hour flight, we felt recharged once we stepped on the ice in the beautiful and grand competition rink. Throughout the week we were lucky enough to skate on the competition rink for most of our practices. This allowed us to become really comfortable with the environment in preparation for the big performance! After practices, we also completed daily Covid-19 PCR tests at the rink. Then, we would head back to the hotel to rest, complete homework, and prepare for the next day. While we did not tour the town or shop as a safety precaution for Covid-19, we enjoyed daily walks to the rink surrounded by a backdrop of magnificent, snow-capped mountains!

On Friday, the day of the short program, we began the morning with a strong official practice. We felt calm and confident entering and leaving the rink, and walked back to the hotel to rest, do our makeup, and prepare for the evening’s performance. After adding the finishing touches of pink to our eye makeup, we played some pump-up songs and headed back to the rink. That night, the cheers of the crowd brought us into the moment, and we skated an amazing short program to “Hallelujah”. We immediately shared a hug at the center of the ice, realizing that we had just accomplished one of the goals which we had set for this competition. Then, we were overjoyed when we found out we placed third in the short program, and by a margin of less than 1 point! I attended the small medal ceremony and press conference for the short program with Christine, and afterwards, each member of the line received their small bronze medal. To close the night, we had our traditional post-short program ice cream celebration.

The next day, after getting a few bumps out of the way during the official practice, the line returned to the rink in the evening with lots of energy. We warmed up, sang “Defying Gravity” one last time, put on our dresses, and had a final Tic Tac or Starburst before heading into the arena. We poured our hearts into this final performance of the “Gemini” program, and before we knew it, we had completed our best long program performance of the season! As we stood up to take our bows, we all made eye contact and smiled. We composed ourselves for the final bows, but then rushed to embrace each other with tears in our eyes. We finally had our moment! We shared more embraces in the Kiss and Cry, overcome with pride, joy, and relief; regardless of what might happen with the scores, we were all content knowing that we had just delivered an incredible final performance to close out the season. 

And then… it got even better when we realized that we were now World Junior Silver Medalists! Nothing could contain our excitement and screams. Not only did we have two season’s best skates on the biggest stage, we were now officially World Medalists! 

Afterwards, there was a small dinner celebration with our families at the hotel, and we shared a celebratory cake with Teams Elite and the USFS delegation. After taking a final Covid-19 test to end the night, we quickly packed our medals and skates in our suitcases for the bus ride to the airport at 5:30am the next morning.

We truly learned from every single experience we had this season, whether it was practices at Chelsea Piers, competing in Austria, leaving France on a whim, or getting off the ice at Nationals feeling like we still had more to give. Full of ups and downs, but culminating with this incredible achievement, we all realized the power of our collective resilience and determination this season. I am so grateful to this line and will never forget these experiences!
By Molly McMahon

What a season it's been for Sky Senior. To say the least, this season has been full of so much learning and improvement. We had an amazing trip to Colorado Springs, CO for the 2022 U.S Synchronized Skating Championships. We had very solid and consistent practices leading up to the competition and felt very confident as we took the ice. In our short program performance we earned a score of 71.47 points. As we approached the free program the next day, we rallied as a line, hyped each other up, and skated our season's best free skate, earning 136.89 points and a national bronze medal. Looking back on our competitive season, we have progressed so much as a line. We were very competitive in the senior category and are very proud with how far we have come both on and off the ice. We can’t wait to hit the ground running next season and see what's in store for Sky Senior!
Skyliners was established in 2001 by a group of parents who wanted to create the most competitive synchronized skating club in the tri-state area. In that first year, the team had three lines - Preliminary, Juvenile and Intermediate. Twenty-one years later, Skyliners has grown into one of the top synchronized skating teams in the country, now 15 lines and 235+ skaters strong. While the majority of the skaters reside in the tri-state area, we also have had skaters from Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. Our resume of achievements includes 33 Eastern championships, 16 National championships, 8 International gold medals, an historic Junior Worlds Silver medal. 
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