Starlight Synchronized Skating Team Wins National Gold

Starlight Intermediate synchronized skating team placed first at the Skate Canada Cup competition, beating out teams from across the country for the top spot.  Winning this competition, held in Waterloo from February 25-26, represents the first time ever that an Ottawa youth team has taken home the title of national champion. It was also the pinnacle of a perfect season for the Starlight team, who earned gold medals at every competition leading up to the Canada Cup.

The Starlight Synchronized skating club is based out of Ottawa’s west end and features a team figure skating sport where 8-16 skaters skate in unison, performing elements such as blocks, circles, lines, intersections, and spins. The team has a number of skaters from the Manotick Messenger coverage area.

The Starlight Intermediate team shows off their Skate Canada Cup gold medals. Front row left to right: Ella Naughton, Cadence James, Rachel Heuchert, Aimee Zhang, Malea Kulkarni, Taylor Glover, Abigail Levac, and Angela Zheng. Back row left to right: Chloe Leclaire, Hayley Smith, Kadynn Morrison, Tess Overvelde, Knox Marshall, Olivia Goldie, Keke Qiu, Emily Qin, and Chloe Wilkes.

The Starlight Intermediate team made a name for itself at the 2023 Canada Cup, held in Calgary, with a second-place finish. Starlight was able to build on this momentum and its reputation for skating to sophisticated and technical programs. It started off the 2023-24 season strong with a gold medal win at the Invitation Synchro Nova St-Hubert in Quebec in December and never looked back.

 “This team was special from the very beginning. The skaters trusted the process, put in the practice, and believed in each other – it was a coach’s dream,” said coach Susan Chouinard. “This team surpassed my wildest expectations with an undefeated season.”

The team’s program, with the theme “Overcome”, is about overcoming obstacles and is an emotional and powerful program designed to feature the skaters’ strength and flow on the ice. The program also contains technically challenging moves and elements. This blend of artistry and technical difficulty was a winning combination for the team.  

In Waterloo, the team earned a season best score of 88.96 for its second skate, and claimed its first place victory with a combined score of 131.90. Nexxice of Burlington finished second with a score of 127.28 and Edge from Oakville took the bronze with 122.87. While Ontario teams dominated the podium, the category was comprised of teams from Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Starlight Synchronized Skating is hosted by the March-Kanata and Goulbourn Skating Clubs. The Intermediate team has skaters from age 16-19 and practices a minimum of 5 hours a week, 4 hours on ice and 1 hour off-ice.