Philippe Maitrot has been elected Chair of the ISU Technical Committee at the last ISU Congress in Spain one month ago. Before starting a new season, Jura Synchro evaluate the situation with the new leader of synchronized skating, to whom all eyes are turning to advance the sport. Interview.
To start, how did you get into the world of synchronized skating?
I started my career as an International Official in Ice Dance in 2000, then I turned to synchronized skating in 2006. Judge, Referee and ISU Technical Controller, I'm not really new in the world of synchronized skating. I was also part of the ISU Synchronized Skating Technical Committee for 6 years (elected at the ISU Barcelona Congress from 2010 to 2016). I have always been fascinated by team sports, the atmosphere is incredible.
You have been elected to the top of synchronized skating at ISU. What will be your role?
My role as Chair of the ISU Technical Committee, is to orient the discipline towards Olympism, to make it a high level discipline. Although the progress of synchronized skating has been noticed for some time, we still need to develop, not only technically but also globally. It is a sport still unknown in the world.
The international development of synchronized skating is essential.
From now on, which are your priorities?
First of all, we need to reorganize. I mean our schedule is late in the season, we are the last ISU World Championship. If we want to be a day at the Olympics, we will have to start the season of international competitions much earlier.
Another point to improve is that there is no international competition on the ISU calendar in North America (USA, Canada), with the exception of the Championships. We need East Coast and West Coast competitions for Asia and Oceania.
Stabilization and simplification of regulations will also be important issues for the development of the discipline.
The international development of synchronized skating is essential. Asia, Oceania, and Latin America are objectives where the number of teams does not increase or is non-existent.
We will also have to start research for sponsorship in order to expand our field of action and perhaps in the future create a Grand Prix. We'll have to help teams and countries in difficulty.
The sponsors will also attract the media to our discipline. The media also influence the Olympic Committee. TV rights being astronomical at the Olympic Games.
It is essential for us to work as a team.
What is the most important for synchronized skating now?
Synchronized skating needs recognition. It must be an integral part of world skating. For years, ice dancing was the poor relation of skating. Synchronized skating is now the poor parent and must prove itself. It's hard to get recognition when you're not an Olympic event. But we will work together to make it a recognized discipline. It is essential for us to work as a team. The discipline will survive only if we are part of a team and all together we want the same thing, we aim for the same goal.
How long will you be Chair of the ISU Technical Committee?
I am elected for 4 years. So until the Beijing Olympics in 2022.
In a few days, discover the second part of Philippe Maitrot's interview.
We'll speak about the Olympic candidacy for synchronized skating!