Great games for Australian skaters

It is not hard to spot where Danielle Wride and Lauren Ford are from.

The green-and-gold scarves, the inflatable wallaby following them around and the Australian flag are a bit of a giveaway.

But the Adelaide Ice Magic adult captains could not be more appreciative of the warm Dunedin welcome they received competing in the Masters Games at the weekend.

The 14-strong ice figure skating team — alongside their "sister" team, Adelaide Ice Magic advance adult — made the decision to cross the ditch, travelling from South Australia to compete in Dunedin and give many of their skaters their first international experience.

"We’ve never had the opportunity to take them overseas before, so we thought, ‘let’s jump the pond’", Wride said.

It paid off for the team, aged 22 to 40, who won gold in the synchronised event, recording a personal best score of 30.48, two points higher than their previous best.

"It was incredible ... Everyone was ecstatic with that."

Their advanced adult team also won gold in their synchronised event, and four skaters won gold, and one silver, in the individual technical.

Wride praised the Dunedin Ice Rink’s ice as "incredible", and thanked New Zealand synchronised group Team Illusion for sharing their knowledge.

 Adelaide Ice Magic adult skaters represented Australia at the New Zealand Masters Games ice...
Adelaide Ice Magic adult skaters represented Australia at the New Zealand Masters Games ice figure skating at the weekend. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
The team did plenty of sight-seeing, visiting Larnach Castle and calling Dunedin "beautiful".

But seeing their first kapa haka performance at the opening ceremony was a standout.

"It was a beautiful cultural experience, that one", Wride said.

The games, which also included the Australia and New Zealand adult skating competition, has been a wonderful experience, one Wride would love to return to New Zealand for.

"The atmosphere that we’ve experienced, and the ice, and the culture here ... it’s incredible and we’d definitely love to come back.

"It’s not like a competition. It’s like we’re all here to celebrate adult sport and adult figure skating. It’s more just the giant celebration."

Ford agreed with Wride, saying they tried to cultivate a healthy culture of adult skating back in Adelaide, and it was pleasing to see it was the same in Dunedin.

It had been a good experience meeting other adult skaters — and comparing their sore joints, she joked — and she would return "at the drop of a hat".

Most of the team return home today, but others have headed to Queenstown and Auckland.