Orange Central is Syracuse University’s annual reunion and homecoming celebration, and this year’s festivities drew nearly 1,500 attendees from 48 states to campus to celebrate their love of Syracuse. The weekend featured reunion gatherings, the much-anticipated Alumni Awards Celebration, “Back…
Long Awaited Victories for Orange Experience Synchronized Skating Club Team
After returning with silver from the 2020 Open Collegiate Eastern Sectional Synchronized Skating Championships, the Orange Experience Synchronized Skating Club Team faced a sudden and unexpected freeze. The COVID-19 pandemic cancelled all additional competitions, no new members tried out and the team was left questioning when they would return to the ice. Learning to adapt to these challenges and leading the implementation was the team’s head coach, Lisa Mirabito. “Last season, we faced illness, rink closures to control the virus and isolation that kept the team from regular weekly practices, but determined nonetheless,” she says.
As a result, the team’s passion and perseverance opened windows of opportunity to get back in the rink, keep practices safe and ultimately attend multiple competitions. Additionally, many first-year and sophomore students decided to try out and the team increased from 10 members to a whopping 20. “Since the team grew so big, so quickly, we were ready to take on anything the skating world threw at us,” shares skater Elisaveta Pronina Brauer ’22.
The freeze that COVID-19 placed on the team’s progress continued to melt as they won their first gold medal since 2020, beating rivals Princeton University at the Boston Synchronized Skating Classic in Nov. 2021. Even in the midst of a blizzard, the team’s success continued to heat-up in Jan. 2022 as they claimed silver during the Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships. While Feb. 2022 has proven the team is continuing to bring the heat on the ice, winning first place in the Lake Placid Empire State Winter Games and bringing home the final gold of the season from the Hershey, Pennsylvania, Reflections Synchro Invitational.
Overall, the team is excited to be back practicing and competing together. “This team truly is full of people I love dearly and I’m so happy that I could skate with them. Over these past competitions we’ve grown so close,” says Pronina Brauer ’22.
Story by Division of the Student Experience communications intern Haley Mykytka ’22, College of Visual and Performing Arts.