University of Vermont

UVM student Alexandra Finn, on leave with synchronized skating team, wins national title

Alexandra Finn, photo courtesy Elina Paasonen
Alexandra Finn, photo courtesy Elina Paasonen

University of Vermont Athletic Training student Alexandra Finn plans to return to campus this fall following a two-year leave of absence to compete with one of the top-ranked synchronized skating teams in the world – the Lexington, Massachusetts-based Haydenettes.

Thrilled to have the opportunity to realize her dream of representing the United States in international competition – her team took the bronze medal at the 2012 World Championships held in Gothenburg, Sweden - Finn said she now looks forward to returning to class.

“It was a hard decision to leave UVM, but I knew I needed to at least try to see what this team was about,” said Finn, who hails from Simsbury, CT. “I really like Burlington and Vermont. I had a good experience my freshman year. I lived in the Dewey House for civic engagement, with people who cared about the same things I did.”

Finn’s first semester in the athletic training program involved observation hours undertaken with the men’s basketball, women’s ice hockey, and women’s field hockey teams. The experience provides students with a sense of what athletic training as a career is all about from the start, Finn said.

Training for world-class skating competition and studying at UVM have a fair bit in common, according to Finn.

“Both take a lot of organization and time management,” Finn said.

With skating, practicing individual skills, fitness, and teamwork take top priority, Finn said. In school, it’s also about getting your work done, and “making sure you’re in the right place at the right time,” she added.

From the first skating class she attended with a friend at age eight, Finn couldn’t get enough time on the ice. She competed in both singles and synchronized events. While attending UVM, she joined the Catamount Blades, and was recruited during a competition to audition for the Haydenettes. She made the team and began traveling back and forth to Lexington to practice on the weekends.

Looking back, her experience representing the US in international competition, traveling, and getting to know friends and teammates the world over are definite highlights. And what she missed most while she was away from UVM?

“I missed my friends, living on campus, having the real college experience – eating dorm food, not having a car and having to walk.”

Fresh from earning their 21st US National Synchronized Skating Championship title, Alexandra and her team will represent the United States as Team USA 1 at the World Synchronized Skating Championships in Boston this April.