Solo figure skating seems hard enough, but can you even imagine having another person there, beside you on the ice, picking you up and spinning you around? The figure skating pairs competition is always one of the most heart-racing sports to watch at the Winter Olympics, especially if the duo have good chemistry between them. This year, at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, only one USA team will be sent to compete in figure skating pairs, and that team happens to be an adorable wife and husband, Alexa and Chris Knierim. Here are seven things to know about them before they compete for gold.
They Used to Compete Against Each Other
Before joining together as a team in 2012, both Alexa and Chris used to be competitors against each other on the ice. Who knows if their relationship would have just remained a competitive one if they hadn't joined forces as a pairs skating duo!
Their Coach Officiated Their Wedding
Alexa, 26, and Chris, 30, have been married since 2016, but they have been skating together since 2012. Since their love began on the ice, they asked their coach to officiate their wedding for them.
Alexa Had a Rare Gastro Disorder
In April 2016, Alexa was diagnosed with a life-threatening gastrointestinal condition and underwent multiple abdominal surgeries, leaving the team sidelined for much of the 2016-2017 season. Despite the condensed season, the duo returned to earn a top-10 finish at the 2017 ISU World Championships, becoming the first US pair to do so in the last five years.
They Have 4 Pets
Chris and Alexa have a total of four pets: two dogs and two cats. Alexa told NBC Olympics that their pets are their everything and bring them so much joy at the end of the day. They spend a lot of quality time together on the weekends, going for hikes with the dogs and snuggling with the cats.
Chris Used to Be a Mechanic
Back in 2012, when he and Alexa began working together on the ice, Chris was working as a mechanic and going to school full time, according to NBC Olympics. He worked to pay for skating and said that balancing it all was very difficult.
Alexa Loves Vacationing at the Lake
In the Summer, they try to go most weekends to a lake near their house. They bring the dogs with them and have a great time getting away from the real world and decompressing.
Pairs Skating Has Strengthened Their Marriage
Alexa told NBC Olympics that in pairs skating, you don't have the luxury of showing up to training in a bad mood. You have to show up every day ready to work for the sake of your partner, and you have to stress the importance of putting your partner before yourself in order to be a successful team. Sounds like the rule of marriage too, doesn't it?
To learn more about Chris and Alexa, visit Team USA. The Winter Olympics will air live beginning Feb. 8.