Monthly Archives: February 2012

Jasmine Kirchner: Skating In Sync

 

Plymouth Magazine, February 2012 – Team Braemar USA’s Jasmine Kirchner shares the secrets behind synchronized skating. Jasmine Kirchner is a skater. No, she’s not a skateboarder, inline skater, roller derby enforcer, or speed skater. Synchronized skating is her sport of choice.Kirchner, a senior at Wayzata High School and lifelong Plymouth resident, is in her second year as a member of the Team Braemar USA synchronized skating team. It’s ok if you’re confused.“A majority of people ask me if it is similar to synchronized swimming,” explains Kirchner. “I say, ‘kind of, but the water is frozen.’”

She makes it sound easy. It’s not. Neither is winning silver at nationals, bronze at the Junior World Cup in Switzerland or gold at the French Cup in Rouen, France. Yet Kirchner and her team of 20 girls (and coaches Pam May and Toni Swiggum) accomplished all of which last year, and are aiming to defend their French Cup title February 3-4 and qualify for the World Cup in Sweden once again.

Still trying to get in synch with synchronized skating?

“I usually describe it as dance team on ice,” says Kirchner, who started skating competitively as a 4-year old at the Plymouth Ice Center. “Most people have never heard of the sport, but are usually pretty interested once I start to explain it.”

Interested? I was hooked, resulting in the following Q&A:

BH: How did you get into synchronized skating?

JK:  I was involved in synchronized skating when I was younger, but then focused on my individual figure skating. I started skating at Braemar City of Lakes (Figure Skating Club) in 2007. My older sister joined the Team Braemar/Team USA and skated on it for the 2008 season. I was able to travel with the team as a fan, and I knew that it was something I wanted to do in the future.

BH: How did you get on the Team Braemar USA team, and what is the age range of girls on that team?

JK: I tried out for Team Braemar in the summer of 2010. I was selected and received a spot on the team for that season. This year, our youngest skater is a freshman in high school and our oldest is 18 years old and graduated in 2010. As a junior level team, all members of the team must be 18 or younger. There are 20 members on the team from all over the Twin Cities area. Sixteen skate at a time and there are four alternates.