On ice and in class: Quinnipiac students shine as synchronized ice skaters

Katarina Koehler ’23, MBA ’24 and Cynthia Blumer ’25 have managed to make the most of their time — juggling time in the classroom with time on the world stage. On weekdays, the two are work hard in the classroom and on weekends, they compete as professional ice skaters.

Both students began their skating careers as toddlers and haven’t looked back since. Koehler competed within the ice sports industry since the age of 2 and attended boarding school in Minnesota to advance her skating career. She became a United States Figure Skating member and competitor during her years at school and focused on solo freestyle and ice dance performances. After many years of dedication to her craft, she joined a synchronized team for the first time during her senior year of high school out of Minneapolis.

Now, she has been skating with the Skyliners Senior USA Team for the past four years.

Blumer started her skating journey at the age of 5 and joined a synchronized team earlier in her career, only a few years after embarking on her career. She has competed for 12 years and represented Team USA for the last five. After skating with the Starlights Team from Illinois and earning a silver medal, the Bobcat transitioned to the Skyliners.

The two women, along with their teammates, have seized the opportunity to travel the world for competitions. Skating has taken them everywhere from the East Coast to West Coast of the United States — and all the way to Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, Finland and, soon, Croatia.

“Skyliners has given me a family away from home,” said Koehler. “Moving to the East Coast and starting college was tricky but skating was always a supportive and driving constant that kept me going. I have grown to be a leader on the team and enjoy sharing my love for the sport whenever possible is also very rewarding. Skating has taught me confidence, pride, discipline, and determination for wanting to be the best and give it my all with everything I do.”

Balancing academics and athletics can be extremely difficult, but both students agree Quinnipiac helped them live their dream, balancing challenging schedules.

Adhering to a schedule is what helps them stay on top of their commitments, said Blumer. Courses and assignments occupy their weekdays, while weekends are devoted to practices and competitions.

“The faculty at Quinnipiac have also been very important to my success as both a student and skater,” said Blumer. “All of my professors have been very supportive and have gone above and beyond to help me not fall behind in my classes. One of my most supportive professors has been Martha Brazy; Katarina and I had her for a U.S. history class last spring. She has watched multiple livestreams of our competitions and is always excited to receive updates on our current season. Support from professors like her has been amazing and helps make balancing two full time commitments so much easier.”

The Skyliners team has won numerous awards and experienced immense success, by earning multiple silver medals and a bronze medal, as well as their biggest accomplishment: being named to the 2024 Senior World Team. Koehler and Blumer traveled to compete at the Synchronized Skating World Championships in Zagreb, Croatia on April 5 to showcase their talents and dedication to ice skating.

“Attending Quinnipiac and being a part of Skyliners has taught me countless life lessons that I am beyond grateful for,” said Koehler. “Learning by taking leaps, making mistakes and growing from it all has made me into the person I am today and for that I am proud of.”

The two intend to continue their involvement with the sport post-graduation, whether by skating themselves or coaching. Their love for ice skating will always hold a special place in their hearts, no matter where life may take them in the future.

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