by Liz Leamy
Alexa Scimeca Knierim & Chris Knierim, the reigning U.S. Pairs Champions known for their high-flying split twists, lifts and throw triple jumps, are ready to make their mark at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, which will begin this Friday, February 9th with the much-anticipated Opening Ceremonies.
This dynamic and accomplished team, who train in Colorado Springs with Delilah Sappenfield, seem as fired up as ever to go against the world’s finest at the 2018 Olympics where they will be representing the U.S. as its sole entry in the pairs event. The pairs competition will commence Wednesday, February 13th at the Gangneung Ice Arena with the short program and conclude on Thursday, February 14th with the free skate.
“We’re so excited to be able to go and compete in front of the world on that stage,” said Chris, who also works as a mechanic at an auto shop in the Colorado Springs area during the time he and his wife have off from training.
According to the Knierims, who are the 2015 U.S. titlists, training has been going well since they clinched gold at the 2018 U.S. Championships last January, as they are planning to include their signature huge quad twist in both their short and long programs in PyeongChang.
“We’ve been focused on doing our best,” said Alexa, who underwent stomach surgery last year from which she has since made a full recovery. “I feel like we will peak at the right time.”
The two seem confident about putting out two stellar performances next week in PyeongChang, where they will go up against some of the top teams in the world, including Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov of Russia, Aljona Savchenko & Bruno Massot of Germany and Meaghan Duhamel & Eric Radford of Canada, who are respectively ranked first, second and third according to the current International Skating Union rankings.
For the Knierims, it’s all about faith, determination and showing the world who and what they are out there on the ice, things that could certainly put them in top placement, even while facing off against these other pair teams, if they skate strong programs.
Meanwhile, the Knierims said they are also looking forward to enjoying and being part of the whole Olympic experience.
Aside from the honor and thrill of representing the U.S. in the pairs event next week, this young married duo is also excited about the Opening Ceremonies, getting ‘geared’ up, meeting athletes from all over the globe, seeing different events and experiencing all of the different dynamics of the Olympic Village, especially the U.S. lounge, where they look forward to spending time with fellow teammates.
On a more random note, another thing the Knierims are looking forward to is the prospect of enjoying the menu offerings at the McDonalds in the Athlete Village, one of the U.S. Olympic sponsors that will offer athletes food round the clock on a ‘gratis’ basis for the entire duration of the event.
“We’ll probably be there after we’re done competing, [that’ll be where] you can find us,” said Alexa. “I’ll be eating the French fries.”