American figure skaters Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and her husband, Chris Knierim, knew an Olympic medal was beyond their reach Thursday, when the pairs free skate was contested.
Before Scimeca-Knierim left the media zone, she asked to deliver a message back to those mourning in the U.S. In a nutshell, I may have lost a lot of faith in myself, but I grew with my faith in God.
Figure skaters Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim are a married couple.
The couple, the only USA team among the 16 finalists in the pairs figure skating free skate competition, took to the ice mere hours after 17 children and staff were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, about 15 miles northwest of Fort Lauderdale. They're coached by ice skating legend Christopher Dean.
Alexa said the two, who married two years ago, have grown closer than ever after she beat a life-threatening gastrointestinal condition. The question of whether she would skate was preempted by that of whether she would live to see these Pyeongchang Games. I told Chris today he'd need to be so much stronger than me.
"I stopped worrying and stopped trying to control life, because I couldn't".
"What's really special and we've never experienced before is the reach", she said, "and people who do not even following figure skating, it's so cool they are all writing the same thing. So I finally just threw my hands up and said like, 'You lead the way, ' and it's my testimony and I stay true to it".
Medal winners for the figure skating pairs program of the 2018 Winter Olympics will be crowned Wednesday evening, following the second-part of the competition: the free skate.
For Scimeca Knierim, the Olympics are an opportunity to "glorify God, and my followers know that that's my goal and it makes me happy", she told People.
"It's just a blessing for us to even be at this position, so we're soaking it all in", Knierim said. "We hate to skate poorly enough for a team not here to feel they could've done better than us".