Revolution Ice Unity, Central Pennsylvania’s only independent adult synchronized skating team, was profiled in the September 2021 issue of TheBurg magazine. TheBurg is a monthly Harrisburg-area magazine and daily online news publication that tells stories that describe the community of greater Harrisburg. Read the story, written by Karen Hendricks.
Breaking the Ice: Central PA’s only independent synchro skating team forms amid COVID, debuts this fall
There’s only one thing that gets Kristina Pae out of bed around 5 a.m. on Saturday mornings.
“I’m so not a morning person. I’m not early for anything except for skating,” said Pae, 39, of Etters. “It’s kind of a miracle. I’m literally the first one at the rink because I love it.”
What Pae loves is synchronized ice skating—called “synchro” for short—and her newly formed team. Revolution Ice Unity (RIU) is the only independent synchro adult team in central Pennsylvania. Saturday practices, from September onward, are preparing them for their first season of competition.
During the pandemic, while many of us were just “skating by” and trying to survive daily life, a core group of about 10 skaters—many who had skated together on past teams—connected virtually to form RIU. It happened on Zoom.
“We had all kept in contact and realized how much we missed skating. A lot of us said there was a huge void in our lives,” said Ashley Andyshak Hayes, 37, of Gettysburg. “I actually think it was good timing for us. As terrible as COVID was, it gave us time to sit and think about how to make it happen. We did a lot of planning on Zoom calls.”
First steps included securing RIU’s U.S. Figure Skating membership and a practice location at Lebanon County’s Klick Lewis Arena. Informal summer practices brought a few more skaters into the fold. It was all groundwork, to prepare for their icy footwork.