Sometimes two is better than one. Just ask Addison native Alexa Scimeca and her Olympic figure skating partner, Chris Knierim.
Scimeca and Knierim have been partners since 2012, when Scimeca moved to Colorado after splitting with her former second half. Coincidentally, Knierim's partner made the decision to move out of state around that time, and he became partnerless like Scimeca. Their coach, Dalilah Sappenfield, brought the two singles together, and the connection was practically instantaneous.
"We both felt very comfortable from the start," Scimeca said.
So far, Scimeca and Knierim haven't wasted a single moment of their short time together. The pair entered their first Grand Prix last year and ended up with a silver medal at Nationals. Scimeca said their immediate success as a duo was an incredible feeling, one that can be attributed to the bond they share.
"We have the same goals and mindset when it comes to training," she said.
That bond extends to the romantic relationship they've maintained alongside their skating partnership. While this might seem like a daunting challenge, Knierim said the couple has achieved a stable balance between their personal and professional lives. He said they
typically don't discuss skating when they're off the ice, and they know how to cheer each other up after a bad day of training.
However, that hasn't stopped them from facing other challenges. Knierim broke his leg this past summer, which forced the duo to take a break from training. He was back on the ice after four weeks of extensive care, but said the incident was a big challenge for both of them.
"Coming back from that has been a bit of work," he said.
But despite that, Scimeca and Knierim bounced back and have been working at a fast pace ever since. As the Olympic trials begin to inch closer, Scimeca said they're taking one day at a time and focusing on each practice session individually.
"We’re just trying to stay grounded, and our goal at nationals is to perform our personal best," she said.
And with chemistry like theirs, who knows what could happen.