We’ve had an opportunity to talk with the South Korean Team Blessing’s president Ms. Kim and PR manager Ms. Park. Read more to know more about Team Blessing that will compete internationally at the next Spring Cup in Italy in a few days.
Can you introduce Team Blessing to readers of Jura Synchro?
Team Blessing was established in 2008 and so it has almost been ten years. We are based in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. In the early years, we performed during major skating events such as 2008 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final and 2009 Festa on Ice. Later we started participating in domestic and overseas competitions. We have two coaches Ms. Jeon who is in charge of the team and Cindy Kim of Team Image Synchronized Skating Team who trains us several times a year.
Maintaining a team for so long in a country where synchro is not commonly heard of is no mean feat!
Yes, recruiting skaters is tough. In the past, we had seasons with only a few skaters and so we joined forces with another Seoul synchro team Angels in order to find enough skaters for competition. This 2017-18 season we have 16 skaters and so we can join an ISU event, Spring Cup, in junior level. Recently we have higher-skilled skaters who are candidates for national representatives. This attracts other figure skaters to pay more attention to synchro and take it more seriously. We hope to grow a junior and senior team in parallel. We practice about 3-4 hours a week, including off-ice time.
Spring Cup 2018 in Italy will be your team’s first venture into international ISU level event. What was your team’s international exposure in the past?
We had competed internationally at Japan’s Open competition in 2014 and 2017. Apart from that, in 2016 two captains attended a summer camp with Team Image of the USA. Because Spring Cup 2018 is held during Korean school holiday, our high-school skaters have the opportunity to travel aboard.
I heard your team has a productive year so far...
Yes we had five public performances. In particular, we had a synchro show around last Christmas as part of promotional activities in connection with PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. Those were good opportunities to showcase our programs. Public performances and TV interviews help us to introduce synchro to wider audiences.
Would you mind telling us more about the programs this year?
The Short Program is based on “Someone in the Crowd” from the movie La La Land while the Free Skating music is “Moulin Rouge”. Because of a domestic rule, the team is in the Senior category in Korea. However, in Spring Cup they will skate at Junior level. So we have different choreography for the same piece of music.
We thank Ms. Kim and Ms. Park for their valuable time to share with us about their team. Team Blessing will compete in Italy on February 17th and 18th during the Spring Cup.