Equal Voice,  Skating Love,  Team Focus

Unity Isn’t Cancelled

How Revolution Ice Unity Put Team Voice First

All things considered, it’s been an incredible second season for Revolution Ice Unity, Central Pennsylvania’s only independent adult synchronized skating team. Born in 2020 amidst a global pandemic, we’ve come so far since our founding—we’ve perfected how to run a smart, efficient, cost-effective, and balanced adult synchro skating program.

Team Opportunities for Adult Figure Skaters

Year #2 has been a year of more exciting firsts for RIU, providing incredible opportunities for adult skaters looking to find their “people” within a sport we universally love. Specific areas of team pride during the 2021-22 season include:

  • Rolling out a new logo and website so the world could see who Revolution Ice Unity is and what we stand for. We’re here to be the team for the everywoman… for the busy adult working a fast-paced job and juggling responsibilities at home and in the community but who also wants a little piece of something special all to herself.
  • Recruiting three new teammates and teaching them to embrace a new side of adult figure skating as a cohesive unit.
  • Establishing a regular training schedule and coming together two to three Saturdays each month to work on our fierce 2021-22 season program.
  • Creating an e-store for easy purchase of required team gear and lots of fun extras for wearing when we are off ice and around town.
  • Scouring U.S. Figure Skating’s rulebook to ensure we are following all regulations as we lock in our program steps.
  • Procuring fun, appropriate, cost-effective competition outfits and accessories… including RIU-branded fake tattoos!
  • Navigating all the necessities of registering for and planning travel logistics for out-of-town competitions.

Hard Choices

Central Pennsylvania figure skating opportunities have never been better for adults, and Revolution Ice Unity is so excited to join this longstanding legacy. Words don’t capture how proud I am, personally, of this smart, dedicated, and resourceful group of women and all we have achieved together this year.

It was all going so perfectly and according to plan. And then, omicron hit.

As we watched Pennsylvania COVID positivity rates climb throughout the month of December, we started to feel some concern. Our worst fears were unfolding before our eyes, with the newest COVID surge continuing into January and bringing community positivity levels to record levels.

We’ve managed to avoid any teammate getting sick from COVID up to this point, thanks to our mitigation efforts. But this highly transmissible variant changed the rules. Between multiple incidences of direct exposure to family members and skaters, themselves, falling ill, it was a rough early January for RIU with several disruptions.

All of a sudden, we were faced with hard questions and a new choice. Was it safe enough to participate in our upcoming competitions, the Eastern Sectional Synchronized Skating Championships (Boston) and Reflections Synchro Invitational (Hershey) in a mere few weeks? Would we have healthy skaters? With this unpredictable situation, would we be able to keep the practices needed to be fully prepared? Was it safe to practice even as a small group?

A Unanimous Call

Mid-January, we came to a decision point. Revolution Ice Unity called an emergency team meeting (via Zoom) to discuss the situation. Each skater had the opportunity to speak her opinion, and everyone spoke to the need to keep skater safety as our top priority. And as a result, we voted unanimously to pull out of both competitions and suspend practice until COVID numbers returned to more reasonable levels.

I thought I was proud to call myself an RIU skater before! Wow. I realized again, in this moment, that this team is so much more than a medal. It is more than a shared goal or a common love for an activity. This team is about the people.

Am I sad? Yes. Disappointed? Certainly. Did we take a financial hit? Yes. But, as they say, three’s a charm—and next year, RIU year #3, is going to be worth the wait. Watching each individual skater this past week double down on her intentions to continuing working towards our  incredible big debut was nearly as good as gold.

This week made me realize how perfect our team name really is—and that unity isn’t cancelled.