Home Archive Photos Slideshows Database


Knierim and Frazier Look to Defend National Title in San Jose

by Liz Leamy



(24 January 2023) Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier, the reigning World pair champions and 2021 U.S. titlists, are determined to put out two top-rate programs at the 2023 U.S. Championships in San Jose this week, in defending their national title.

Knierim and Fraser, who have been skating together since April 2020 and train in Irvine, California with Jenni Meno, Todd Sand, Chris Knierim (Alexa’s husband and former pair partner), Nina Mozer, Rafael Arutyunyan and Christine Binder, said they are very much looking forward to competing at this celebrated annual sports event.

“We’re feeling really good to have the opportunity to put out two good performances,” said Knierim, who, with Frazier, scored silver in the team event at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. “I [always] go back to the skating performances because that’s what fulfills me with happiness and joy.”

Certainly, Knierim speaks her truth from years of experience at being at the top of the domestic and international skating pinnacle, having been a three-time U.S. champion and U.S. Olympic competitor with her husband Chris, in addition to all the things she’s accomplished with Frazier so far.

Knierim, who hails from Addison, Illinois, certainly has had one heck of a competitive skating career so far to back her experience up, that is for certain.

Back in 1998, she first started to skate, going on to become a prominent singles competitor, having worked with Trish Cazeau Brown and Sergei Telenkov then with several other coaches through to 2011, they year she started to do pairs.

In 2012, she then teamed up with Chris Knierim, a Tucson, Arizona native as the two began training in Colorado Springs with Larry Ibarra and Delilah Sappenfield, among others.

Together, she and Knierim not only found love and married each other, but also soared to the top of the competitive pair ladder, scoring top honors at the U.S. Championships through to 2020, a 2018 Olympic berth and consistent top-ten World rankings.

Although they were an indelible force in the sport, the two made the decision to stop competing together in spring of 2020.

At that juncture, Knierim decided to join forces with Frazier, who, like Chris, originates from Arizona (Phoenix), designating a mix and chemistry that has been potent.

After establishing their training base in California, the two have dedicated themselves to achieving an optimal skating standard through their training and commitment, efforts that are certainly reflected in the results they have achieved so far together.

Since joining forces, Knierim and Frazier have not only scored a World and U.S. Championship title so far, but also the 2022 Grand Prix final silver medal, 2022 Olympic team silver and three International Skating Union Grand Prix wins as well as numerous other major accolades.

For the duo, however, it’s all about striving to be their best, whether in practice, shows or competitions.

“We push ourselves in ways where we can enjoy our careers and partnership,” said Frazier, who, like Knierim, was a singles competitor coming up the line. “Our partnership is still rather new and there’s a lot of emotional purpose to continue to enjoy it. It’s about growing our skating skills and we’re trying to better ourselves and see how far we can take it.”

Asked about the effects of being the reigning World champions, both said it’s been a dream come true while at the same time, they have both continued to maintain the intent of being their best at each session on a daily basis.

“It was an amazing feeling,” said Knierim. “Since then, I still take the ice everyday trying to do my best that day.”

Frazier agreed.

“It’s been seven or eight months and it’s been a dream come true,” said Frazier. “It means so much to me and I find myself feeling very patriotic- just listening to the National Anthem [was amazing].”

This year, the two have been focusing on continuing to develop their technical and artistic skills and look forward to presenting their work and efforts in their programs.

For their short program, Knierim and Frazier are skating to ‘Separate Ways’ by Journey as it has been remixed by Bryce Miller and Alloy Tracks and designed by Shae-Lynn Bourne, the Canadian World champion with Victor Kraatz.

For their free, Knierim and Frazier are skating to ‘Sign of the Times’ by Harry Styles which was choreographed by Sinead and John Kerr.

Knierim cited the influence of all of their coaches and choreographers in regard to their skating, especially that of Bourne.

“I think Shae Lynn has been one of the strongest assets to our skating this year,” said Knierim. “We work with her once a week and feel like our power, unison and the way we train [is getting even stronger.] She brings such a versatile perspective on movement and feeling with us and I get inspired by her.”

Certainly, based upon the accomplishments, mindset, talent and spirit of Knierim and Frazier, this duo ought to inspire many with their performances in San Jose this week, among other things.