Chris Knierim

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Chris Knierim
2015 Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final Alexa Scimeca Chris Knierim IMG 8497.JPG
Personal information
Full name Christopher Knierim
Country represented United States
Born (1987-11-05) November 5, 1987 (age 29)
Tucson, Arizona
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
Partner Alexa Scimeca Knierim
Former partner Andrea Poapst, Carolyn-Ann Alba, Brynn Carman, Shawnee Smith
Coach Dalilah Sappenfield, Larry Ibarra
Former coach Eddie Shipstad
Choreographer Cindy Stuart
Former choreographer Julie Marcotte, Igor Shpilband, Catarina Lindgren, Dalilah Sappenfield
Skating club Broadmoor SC
Training locations Colorado Springs, Colorado
Began skating 2000
ISU personal best scores
Combined total 207.96
2016 Four Continents
Short program 72.17
2017 World Championships
Free skate 140.35
2016 Four Continents

Christopher "Chris" Knierim (born November 5, 1987) is an American pair skater. With his wife, Alexa Scimeca Knierim, he is the 2016 Four Continents silver medalist, the 2014 Four Continents bronze medalist and 2015 U.S. national champion.

Personal life[edit]

Christopher Knierim was born November 5, 1987 in Tucson, Arizona.[1] He lived in San Diego, California before settling in Colorado Springs, Colorado in the summer of 2006.[2] He has worked as an auto mechanic.[2] He became engaged to Alexa Scimeca on April 8, 2014.[3] They married on June 26, 2016 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.[4]

Early career[edit]

Knierim began skating at age 12.[2] He teamed up with Brynn Carman in February 2006.[5] Dalilah Sappenfield coached the pair at the World Ice Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado.[2] The pair won the junior silver medal at the 2009 U.S. Championships. They announced the end of their partnership on April 9, 2009.[5]

Knierim began skating with Carolyn-Ann Alba in 2009. They won the junior pairs title at the 2010 Midwestern Sectional Championships[6] and the 2010 U.S. junior pewter medal. They split after the 2010 U.S. Championships.

Knierim began a partnership with Andrea Poapst in July 2010.[7] They won the junior title at the 2011 Midwestern Sectional Championships and the junior silver medal at the U.S. Championships. Poapst/Knierim won gold at the 2011 Ice Challenge, their first senior international together.[8] They parted ways at the end of the 2011–12 season.

Partnership with Scimeca Knierim[edit]

Knierim teamed up with Alexa Scimeca in April 2012.[9] They train together in Colorado Springs, Colorado under coaches Dalilah Sappenfield and Larry Ibarra.[10]

2012–13 to 2013–14[edit]

The pair won gold at their first international event, the 2012 Coupe de Nice.[9] After a number of withdrawals by other teams, they received a Grand Prix assignment, the 2012 NHK Trophy, where they finished fourth.

Scimeca/Knierim won the silver medal at the 2013 U.S. Championships. They were assigned to the 2013 Four Continents Championships but withdrew just before the event — Scimeca injured her right foot in practice.[11] Scimeca/Knierim were named to the U.S. team for the 2013 World Championships after Caydee Denney / John Coughlin withdrew.[12] They placed ninth in their World Championships debut.

2014–15 season[edit]

Scimeca/Knierim won the gold medal in their first ISU Challenger series event at the 2014 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic and won the bronze medal at 2014 Nebelhorn Trophy. They were assigned two Grand Prix events, placing fourth at both 2014 Skate America and 2014 Trophée Éric Bompard.

At the 2015 U.S. Championships, Scimeca/Knierim captured their first national title, setting new U.S. record scores in both the short program and the free skate. They also became the first American pair team to perform a quadruple twist in competition.[13]

At the 2015 Four Continents Championships, Scimeca/Knierim placed fifth and earned new ISU personal best scores of 124.44 in the free skate and 187.98 total, setting new records for the highest scores ever achieved by a U.S. pair team in an international event. At the 2015 World Championships, the pair placed seventh. They then competed at the 2015 World Team Trophy, finishing fourth in the short program and third in the free skate, which ultimately helped Team USA win the gold medal. Scimeca/Knierim earned new personal best scores of 127.87 in the free skate and 192.09 total, setting new records once again for the highest scores ever recorded by a U.S. pair team in international competition.[14]

2015–16 season[edit]

Scimeca/Knierim began their season at 2015 Nebelhorn Trophy where they won the silver medal behind reigning Olympic champions Tatiana Volosozhar / Maxim Trankov.[15] The team then competed at 2015 Skate America where they won the silver medal. They earned a new personal best short program score of 69.69, setting a new record for the highest score ever achieved by a U.S. pair team in international competition. The following week, they won the gold medal at 2015 Ice Challenge in Graz, Austria.

Scimeca/Knierim went on to win the bronze medal at 2015 NHK Trophy which helped qualify them for the 2015–16 Grand Prix Final in Barcelona, where they placed seventh. They are the first U.S. pair since 2007 to qualify for the Grand Prix Final.[16] The pair entered the 2016 U.S. Championships as the heavy favorite for the title, but won the silver medal after costly errors.

At the 2016 Four Continents Championships, Scimeca/Knierim won the silver medal in their best competitive outing to date. They earned new personal best scores of 140.35 in the free skate and 207.96 total, which are the highest scores ever recorded by a U.S. pair team in international competition.[14] A subsequent injury to Knierim limited the team's training before the 2016 World Championships, where they placed 9th. They were 7th in the short program with a personal best score of 71.37, which set a new record for the highest score ever achieved by a U.S. pair team in international competition.[14] The pair then competed for Team North America at the inaugural 2016 KOSÉ Team Challenge Cup, where the team won the gold medal.

2016–17 season[edit]

Alexa Scimeca Knierim began to feel sick in April 2016, and her illness interrupted Scimeca Knierim/Knierim's training throughout the summer months. She was properly diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening gastrointestinal condition in August and underwent two abdominal surgeries that month.[17][18] The pair resumed light training in late September.[19] Scimeca Knierim underwent additional surgery on November 1st and returned to normal training by the middle of that month.[17]

Scimeca Knierim's illness involved regular episodes of vomiting, debilitating pain, difficulties with sleeping, eating or drinking, as well as significant weight loss.[17] Knierim stated that when his wife initially returned to the ice following surgery, she had to hold his hand just to skate around in circles and could only skate for 10 minutes before having to go home for a nap because it was so physically draining.[20] The pair withdrew from both of their Grand Prix events, the 2016 Rostelecom Cup and 2016 Cup of China, and the 2017 U.S. Championships. They resumed full training in January[21] and were named to the U.S. team for both the 2017 Four Continents Championships and the 2017 World Championships.

In February, the Knierims made a strong return to competition at the 2017 Four Continents Championships, where they placed sixth in a deep field of Chinese and Canadian pairs. Their total score was the second highest score ever achieved by a U.S. pair team, behind only their score from Four Continents the prior year. The pair then competed at the 2017 World Championships, where they skated two strong programs and placed 10th in an exceptionally deep field. 5th through 10th place were separated by just 4.35 points. They placed 8th in the short program with a personal best score of 72.17, which is the highest score ever achieved by a U.S. pair team. They were the only U.S. pair to qualify for the free skate. Their total score of 202.37 is the second highest in U.S. pairs history, and they are the only U.S. pair to have ever surpassed the 200 point barrier.[22] This was the Knierims' fourth top 10 finish in their four Worlds appearances. They are the only U.S. pair in the past five years to have placed in the top 10 at a World Championships.

Programs[edit]

With Scimeca Knierim[edit]

Season Short program Free skating Exhibition
2016–17
[23][24]
  • Ghost the Musical
    (including Unchained Melody)
    by Bruce Joel Rubin, Dave Stewart,
    and Glen Ballard
2015–16
[1][25]

2014–15
[23][26]

2013–14
[27][28]
2012–13
[29][30][31]

With Poapst[edit]

Season Short program Free skating
2011–12
[7]
2010–11
[7]

With Carman[edit]

Season Short program Free skating
2008–09
[32][33]
2006–07
[2]
  • Nightmare
    by Brain Bug
  • City Slickers
    by Marc Shaiman

Competitive highlights[edit]

GP: Grand Prix; CS: Challenger Series; JGP: Junior Grand Prix

With Scimeca Knierim[edit]

International[34]
Event 12–13 13–14 14–15 15–16 16–17
Worlds 9th 7th 9th 10th
Four Continents WD 3rd 5th 2nd 6th
GP Final 7th
GP Bompard 4th
GP Cup of China 5th WD
GP NHK Trophy 4th 3rd
GP Rostelecom Cup 6th WD
GP Skate America 4th 2nd
CS Ice Challenge 1st
CS Nebelhorn 3rd 2nd
CS U.S. Classic 1st
Cup of Nice 1st
Nepela Trophy 3rd
National[23]
U.S. Championships 2nd 4th 1st 2nd WD
Team events
World Team Trophy 1st T
4th P
Team Challenge Cup 1st T
3rd P
WD = Withdrew
T = Team result; P = Personal result. Medals awarded for team result only.

With Poapst[edit]

International[35]
Event 2010–11 2011–12
Ice Challenge 1st
National[7]
U.S. Championships 2nd J 7th
J = Junior level

With Alba[edit]

National
Event 2009–10
U.S. Championships 4th J
Midwestern Sectionals 1st J
J = Junior level

With Carman[edit]

International[36]
Event 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09
World Junior Champ. 9th
JGP Belarus 5th
JGP Mexico 9th
National[33]
U.S. Championships 4th N 1st N 2nd J
Midwestern Sectionals 2nd N 1st N 1st J
Levels: N = Novice; J = Junior

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Alexa SCIMECA / Chris KNIERIM: 2015/2016". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on May 27, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Mittan, Barry (May 13, 2007). "First Time’s the Charm for Colorado Pairs". Skate Today. Archived from the original on June 10, 2013. 
  3. ^ McCarvel, Nick (June 2, 2014). "Scimeca and Knierim: Romance has been a benefit". IceNetwork.com. 
  4. ^ Brannen, Sarah S. (June 28, 2016). "The Inside Edge: Scimeca, Knierim tie the knot". IceNetwork.com. 
  5. ^ a b "Brynn Carman and Chris Knierim official site". FigureSkatersOnline. Archived from the original on January 27, 2010. 
  6. ^ "2010 Midwestern Sectional Figure Skating Champions 17 November 2009 - 22 November 2009 Junior Pairs Final Results". U.S. Figure Skating. November 20, 2009. Archived from the original on September 23, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Andrea Poapst / Chris Knierim". IceNetwork.com. Archived from the original on June 29, 2014. 
  8. ^ Brannen, Sarah S.; Meekins, Drew (November 9, 2011). "The Inside Edge: Gilles and Poirier skate, play". Ice Network. 
  9. ^ a b Felton, Renee (October 29, 2012). "Team USA maximizes medal haul at Cup of Nice". IceNetwork.com. 
  10. ^ Rutherford, Lynn (July 29, 2012). "Canadians win, but Scimeca, Knierim impress". IceNetwork.com. 
  11. ^ "Scimeca, Knierim withdraw from Four Continents". IceNetwork.com. February 7, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Scimeca and Knierim to Represent Team USA at 2013 World Championships". U.S. Figure Skating. February 18, 2013. 
  13. ^ Slater, Paula (27 January 2015). "Scimeca and Knierim 'get it done'". Golden Skate. 
  14. ^ a b c "Statistics including Personal Best/Season Best information". International Skating Union. 
  15. ^ Slater, Paula (October 16, 2015). "USA’s Scimeca and Knierim look to medal in Milwaukee". Golden Skate. 
  16. ^ Rutherford, Lynn (December 3, 2015). "Scimeca, Knierim fly U.S. pairs banner in Barcelona". IceNetwork.com. 
  17. ^ a b c Ziccardi, Nick (March 21, 2017). "Alexa Scimeca Knierim Grateful to Return from Life-threatening Condition". NBCSports.com. 
  18. ^ Rutherford, Lynn (February 14, 2017). "Skating world braces for quad fest in Gangneung". IceNetwork.com. 
  19. ^ "Alexa Scimeca Knierim Medical Update". U.S. Figure Skating. September 28, 2016. 
  20. ^ Kennedy, Michelle (March 23, 2017). "Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim return with renewed perspective". Figure Skaters Online. 
  21. ^ "Knierims withdraw from 2017 U.S. Championships". IceNetwork.com. January 11, 2017. 
  22. ^ Wong, Jackie (April 3, 2017). "Opining on 2017 Worlds (Part 3): Up and down for Team USA". Rockerskating.com. 
  23. ^ a b c "Alexa Scimeca Knierim / Chris Knierim". IceNetwork.com. Archived from the original on September 28, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Alexa SCIMECA / Chris KNIERIM: 2016/2017". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on February 16, 2017. 
  25. ^ Scimeca, Alexa; Knierim, Chris (12 May 2015). "New Programs". Figure Skaters Online. 
  26. ^ "Alexa SCIMECA / Chris KNIERIM: 2014/2015". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on May 20, 2015. 
  27. ^ Brannen, Sarah S. (April 29, 2013). "Cinderellas Scimeca, Knierim fit into new slippers". IceNetwork.com. 
  28. ^ "Alexa SCIMECA / Chris KNIERIM: 2013/2014". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 29, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Alexa SCIMECA / Chris KNIERIM: 2012/2013". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on March 13, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Alexa SCIMECA / Chris KNIERIM: 2012/2013". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. 
  31. ^ Rutherford, Lynn (January 17, 2013). "Road to Omaha: Scimeca, Knierim taking it slow". IceNetwork.com. 
  32. ^ "Brynn CARMAN / Chris KNIERIM: 2008/2009". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on August 19, 2009. 
  33. ^ a b "Brynn Carman / Chris Knierim". IceNetwork.com. Archived from the original on April 20, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Competition Results: Alexa SCIMECA / Chris KNIERIM". International Skating Union. 
  35. ^ "Competition Results: Andrea POAPST / Chris KNIERIM". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on August 24, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Competition Results: Brynn CARMAN / Chris KNIERIM". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on October 12, 2012. 

External links[edit]