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Pairs Skaters Alexa Scimeca-Knierim And Chris Knierim Make Coaching Switch To Olympic Champ Aljona Savchenko

By Todd Kortemeier | May 14, 2018, 1:32 p.m. (ET)

Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim pose with their bronze medals on the "TODAY" set on Feb. 16, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.


Colorado Springs, Colorado, has been a good home to Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim. The pairs skaters met there, started skating together there, and got married there.

But they’ll soon make a new home, at least as far as their skating goes, as they’ve announced a new coaching partnership with Olympic gold medalist Aljona Savchenko and her coaching team.

Savchenko competed in pairs at five Olympics, winning bronze in 2010 and 2014 before finally striking gold at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 with partner Bruno Massot. She represented Ukraine in 2002 and Germany at the following four Games.

“I am so happy that I am able to share my passion with such a hard-working and intelligent pair,” said Savchenko, who last month announced an indefinite break from competition. “I’m excited to work with Alexa and Chris.”

The Knierims will now train in Chicago and Oberstdorf, Germany.

It will be something of a homecoming for Scimeca-Knierim, as she was born and raised in Chicagoland. But it means leaving behind coach Dalilah Sappenfield in Colorado Springs, whom they have worked with since 2012 and who officiated their wedding.

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“We are extremely grateful for the relationship and career we have built with Dalilah and all of our coaches at the World Arena,” Scimeca-Knierim said in a press release. “We will always cherish those experiences we shared together over the last six seasons.”

Knierim echoed those comments, saying, “We are incredibly excited and motivated to start our journey with the newly crowned Olympic champion Aljona Savchenko and the members of her team.”

The Knierims will look to build on an exciting 2017-18 season in which they won their second national title and won their first Olympic medal as they helped Team USA win bronze in the team event.

Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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