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INSYNCH


‘THEY ARE ALL MINE’


TEAM MANAGERS GIVE EVERYTHING TO SUPPORT THEIR SKATERS


BY KYLEIGH GAFF


While synchronized skating athletes and coaches garner most of the attention and publicity, certain individuals work tirelessly and anonymously behind the scenes to make sure their respective squads have the best chance to succeed. Outside of the choreography, coaching and competition details, team managers handle most everything — from arranging ice time to packing lunches to providing a shoulder to lean on during difficult times. Teir contributions are boundless and the


impact they have on skaters is profound. Tese relationships help to cultivate a healthy and prosperous culture within a team. Tere are more than 600 synchronized skating teams nationwide, and most of them have a special person or two who make a differ- ence for the skaters and coaches, both on and off the ice. In this story, we highlight a few of these


selfless heroes who give their time and energy every day. Teir efforts are deeply appreciated by the skaters and coaches. Kristina Glisson, team manager of the


Crystallettes, plays the secondary parent role perfectly, according to former DREAM skater Emily Fitzgerald. “When a bus driver, waiter, or volunteer


has ever helped the Crystallettes organization, they have asked her, ‘Which one of them is


yours?’” Fitzgerald explained. “Kristina never fails to smile and simply say, ‘Oh, they are all mine.’” Glisson’s daughter retired from skating in


2010. “I am not sure how or why Kristina


continues to give so selflessly to all of us,” Crys- tallette and DREAM skater Rachel Teets said. “She continues to be our fearless leader and we love her.”


“Kristina embodies the word strength pure-


ly and definitively,” Fitzgerald added. “She has genuine love for every skater, current or alumni, and will be the first person on our backs if we settle for anything less than we are capable of or deserve.” Gail Hanson-Mayer has been the team manager for the Haydenettes for more than 20 years. Saga Krantz, coach of the Haydenettes since 2005, values what Hanson-Mayer brings to each member of the team individually and collectively. “She is extremely knowledgeable about the


sport, and she strives to push the team forward each season,” Krantz said. “She knows how to motivate us, cheer us up, make us laugh and comfort us when we are tired or homesick.” Former DREAM skaters and current


Haydenettes Sharon Neff and Eri Lee agree with their coach’s assessment. “Her unwavering support of every single skater and the club as a whole is remarkable,”


Starlights team manager Dawn Ambrogio, right, and team assistant Deb Alexander, left. Chicago Jazz General Manager Mike Nardella


Haydenettes Team Manager Gail Hanson-Mayer 52 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018


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