Rebecca and Nadine, those Swiss skaters abroad
Rebecca and Nadine, two Swiss athletes skating this season with a foreign team.
They have skated for many years in Switzerland but will represent another nation on the ice at the World Championships in Stockholm this weekend. Zoom in on Rebecca who skates since this season with the Zoulous (FRA) and Nadine who will skate her 2nd Worlds with the Canadian Nexxice team!
Tell us your stories, how and where you started skating, why did you choose to join a team abroad?
Rebecca: I started at the age of 4 in the Burgdorf Skating Club (SUI) after watching a show and said to my mom "that's exactly what I want to do". I skated in that club until last year. Unfortunately, last summer, the senior team was dissolved. As I didn't want to stop synchro, I decided to be part of a team abroad and I went to France.
Nadine: When I was 4 years old, I started skating lessons for children at the Burgdorf Club (SUI), then I started synchronized skating at the age of 8. For a few years I was also competing as an individual in parallel, but in fact, I always focused on synchronized skating. During the summer of 2015, after the World Championships in Hamilton, Canada, I participated in the Nexxice International Camp with a teammate. For the first time, I thought seriously about what it would be like to spend a year abroad and skate in one of the best teams.
How did you get into your teams?
R: I wrote an e-mail to the trainer and he invited me for a training weekend where other interested people participated. After that weekend, he decided who had the level and who didn't. Then it was up to me to decide.
N: I contacted the coach by e-mail sometime after the camp. But normally tests take place.
What are you doing out of practice?
R: I go to a language school next to the training sessions to improve my French in addition to skating.
What were your first impressions with your new teams?
R: I already really enjoyed the training weekend. So my first impressions were positive. At first, it was a bit difficult because the language barrier still existed a bit, but it quickly disappeared.
N: During my first year, I was, of course, nervous because I didn't know what to expect. Different organizations, training methods, procedures and of course a foreign language. But for many of my teammates, it was also their first year with the Nexxice. We all had to learn a lot of new things and work hard! But everyone was always ready to plan their lives around training so they could be 100% there.
What are the main differences in training compared to Switzerland?
R: Overall, there are not very big differences. One difference is the division of the workouts. In Switzerland, we had fitness and strength training once a week 2h the whole team together. Here we have 2x45min in 3 groups. Ice periods are also better distributed. We work more with videos, i. e. during training sessions, the training sessions are filmed and analyzed directly.
Nous sommes bien arrivés à Stockholm ! 🇸🇪 Après notre journée de voyage nous avons pu découvrir l'hôtel officiel et la patinoire de compétition. Place maintenant à 3jours d'entraînements avant le début officiel de la compétition 🤗💪🇫🇷 We have arrived to Stockholm ! 🇸🇪 After our day of travel, we have discovered the hotel and the competition rink. Now we have 3days of trainings before the official start of the competition 🤗💪🇫🇷 #zoulous #teamfrance #synchro #synchroskating #worldsynchro2018 #worldsynchro #wssc2018 #craft #ffsg
What were the greatest difficulties to overcome?
R: The biggest difficulty was clearly to dare to take the step. I was also a little afraid of the reaction of my former team members because I switched to a team with which we were competing, even though the gap was getting bigger and bigger. But I had everyone's support, which made my decision easier.
N: Do not know anyone, find a suitable housing situation and transportation to go to workouts. The distances are completely different from those in Switzerland. In Switzerland, I went to the ice rink in 5 minutes by bike and here, it sometimes takes up to 2 hours by car (with traffic jams).
What were the best times?
R: I can't say exactly what my best moments were. One of them was for me the result after the short program at the Spring Cup (Milan). Otherwise, it's always nice to be on the road with the team and travel together to competitions.
N: There were various beautiful moments throughout the year. New friendships, the progress I have made personally, but also with the team and of course to crown the season, my first medal at a world championship!
We are at the end of the season, what state are you and your team on the way to Stockholm?
R: After a busy season, we kept a cool head and have been able to prepare well for the world championships in recent weeks. We have optimized both programs and we are very happy to run our programs one last time in this rink!
N: We have just spent a few days in Vienna to train. But we are now looking forward to showing Stockholm what we have been working on all year.
What about the future, are you going to do one more season?
R: I'd like to continue, I don't feel ready to stop yet.
N: Unfortunately, synchronized figure skating is a pretty expensive sport and I don't yet know what the future will bring me.
In five years, how and where do you see your skating career?
R: Hmm difficult question....... honestly I can't say exactly, either I will be in 5 years at my 10th senior world championships, which was my goal from the beginning, or I will become co-coach....... but certainly, always related to sport. And of course, I hope that synchronized skating will have made the leap to the Olympic Games and even that I could have participated fully.
N: I know in any case that I want to transmit the knowledge that I could acquire during these 2 years! But I haven't planned anything specific yet and I'll let it all come to me.
What would you say, what would you advise to someone who wants to go abroad like you?
R: I would simply advise him to do so. It is an experience that no one can take away from you, positive or negative. You always learn something new and broaden your horizon.
N: Go for it! It's not easy in another country, all alone, without a stable environment to restart! But it's really worth a try!
With Switzerland missing this weekend, Rebecca and Nadine will both skate at the world championships with another team this weekend in Stockholm. Stay connected on Jura Synchro to discover articles and photos of the competition!