Synchronized skating competition held at Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates

Figure skaters from across the country will participate in a synchronized skating competition at the Sears Center in Hoffman Estates.
January 24, 2014 4:05:29 PM PST
Figure skaters will compete at Sears Centre in another ice sport that's gaining popularity, synchronized skating.

Hockey is the most obvious team sport on the ice and this is another one, called synchronized skating.

Hundreds of figure skaters from across the country will compete at Cool Dancing Steel on Ice through Saturday night at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates

''Synchronized Skating is a team sport of eight to 20 skaters all on the ice at once and skating in different formations,'' said Leslie Graham of Synchronized Skating U.S. Figure Skating.

''It's a really neat sport and it doesn't involve as much jumping and spinning like in figure skating,'' Graham said.

Synchronized skating is nothing new, it goes back to 1956 at the University of Michigan but in recent years it has grown in popularity because it's a sport that invites all ages and many different degrees of talent.

But you have to like team sports.

''I think a lot of people join a synchronized skating team because they don't like it when the eyes are just on them, they like competing with a team,'' Graham said.

''I think this is my favorite way of skating because, I mean we're all friends. It's more fun skating together than alone. There are more people to depend on." said California-based synchronized skater Maya Valeriano.

The teams competing are mostly from the Midwest, Colorado and California and as you can see the teammates don't just skate alike. They actually seem to look alike.

This sport is now recognized by US figure skating and someday, maybe the Olympics.