Skating Fridays

It Takes Two

One of my skating bucket list items is to travel to Germany to compete in the ISU Adult competition in Oberstdorf. I’ve had several friends who have gone, and they all tell me how amazing it is. The best part, they say, is when they announce your name and say that you are here to represent the United States of America. I get chills just thinking about that moment.

A few years ago, the ISU (International Skating Union) sanctioned another international event that is held in North America. Several cities have hosted the competition thus far, including Vancouver and Lake Placid. This year, the North American adult competition is being held in Nashville. Because is it close to the east coast, I’d consider this a local-ish competition for me.

One nuance to this adult competition is that it’s not limited by test level. Because the participating nations all have their own skating test structures, they don’t force you into a specific level for competition. Instead, the skaters get to opt into whatever level they believe matches their ability.

One dilemma I had was whether I should remain at the Gold level or skate Silver instead. My current program has the same number of elements as an international Gold one, but the skaters typically execute double jumps (I do not have any). If I skate Silver, I would have a shorter program length and fewer elements.

At the end of the day, I decided to stay at Gold. When I read the announcement for the Oberstdorf competition (which should have roughly the same rules as the Nashville one), I saw that the Gold programs were about 10 seconds longer and included a leveled step sequence rather than a choreographic sequence.

So, I will now have two versions of my existing program – one for domestic competitions that is 2 minutes and 40 seconds, and one for the international competition, which is 2 minutes and 50 seconds and includes a step sequence. Once we have all the choreography finished, I’ll need to run both versions of my program during practice.

Hopefully I can keep these straight!


  1. George A.
    June 13, 2023 / 2:13 pm

    Good Luck!

    • evabakes
      June 13, 2023 / 7:44 pm

      Thank you!

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