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Aston's IceWorks youth skaters headed to France to represent USA in world championships of Theatre on Ice

Delaware County youth skating team headed to France for world championships of Theatre on Ice
Delaware County youth skating team headed to France for world championships of Theatre on Ice 02:00

ASTON, Pa. (CBS) -- Next week, 20 Theatre on Ice skaters from IceWorks Skating Club in Aston, Pennsylvania, will make history as they compete in Bordeaux, France, at the 2024 Nations' Cup

This marks the first time in the club's history that its Theatre on Ice team will compete internationally, representing the nation as Team USA. The 2024 Nations' Cup is set to host 47 teams and over 900 skaters.

The competitive category of Theatre on Ice focuses more on group performance as opposed to solo and pair skating which often bases scores more on jumps and spins.

Vinnie DiNatale, from Wilmington, Delaware, has been skating for most of his 18 years. He said he's excited to meet other teams from around the world.

"I feel like whenever you talk about figure skating, everyone brings up the Olympics, and this is the next closest thing," DiNatale said. "I feel like this is what everyone works for when you're a figure skater – representing your country."

Another skater who is France-bound, Emma Bryan, is equally thrilled.

"It's huge. In our sport, very few people make it to the international level," Bryan said. "So it's huge for our little rink in Aston to be representing our entire country."

Bryan said as well as sharing a strong work ethic, her teammates share close friendships.

"We spend so much time together, every practice multiple times a week. We travel together, we've become so close, so it's really a special bond you don't get in every skating sport, so it's amazing," she said.

The team's director, Richard Sharpe, said he's very proud of the skaters, ages 12-18.

"To step into a category that has still not found its feet in the full eyes of the competitive skating arena, to be brave enough to take on something else — a new challenge. I'm so, so proud of these kids," Sharpe said.

To bid farewell to Team USA, the IceWorks Skating Club will host a send-off celebration this Saturday from 9:30-11 a.m. at the IceWorks Skating Complex. The public is welcome. The skaters will begin their travels to France that evening.

The club's annual ice show is scheduled for May 10-12.

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