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Meet the Athletes: Alexa Knierim

Meet the Athletes: Alexa Knierim
Posted at 10:01 AM, Dec 10, 2021
and last updated 2022-01-01 21:50:35-05

American pair skater Alexa Knierim made her Olympic debut in 2018 alongside husband and then-skating partner Chris Knierim. The duo won a bronze medal as part of the team event. 

While the pair was set to compete in the 2020 World Championships, Chris stepped away from the sport due to injuries and bouts of depression. Alexa then teamed up with Brandon Frazier near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The new duo won the 2021 U.S. national title and finished seventh at their World Championships debut in 2021.

As part of our preparation for the 2022 Winter Games, NBC Olympics sent questionnaires to multiple athletes to learn more about their lives both inside and outside of sports. Here’s what we found out about Knierim:

 

How influential were your parents in your athletic career?

I would have not been successful without the support and guidance from my parents. My parents believed in me from the very beginning. I was fortunate to have them attend the 2018 Games in Korea!

How has your hometown shaped who you are today?

My hometown (Addison, Illinois) encouraged my skating dreams throughout my childhood by allowing me to modify my school schedule during my elementary and high school years. Addison also recognized and honored my achievements publicly in 2018 when I made my first Olympic team.

Do you have a job?

To cover my bills and training expenses, I coach private skating lessons after I finish my training day. It is wonderful to give my expertise and knowledge to other skaters as I work to financially support my career.

Describe a typical training day.

Monday through Friday
- 6 a.m.: Wake up
- 8 a.m.: Rink
- 8:30 - 9:15 a.m.: Ice training 
- 9:50-10:10 a.m.: "Off-ice lifts"
-10:20-11:10 a.m.: Ice training
- Lunch break
- 12:45-1:00 p.m.: "Off-ice lifts"
- 1:10-2:00 p.m.: Ice training

Tuesday and Thursday
- 2:15-3:15 p.m.: Gym/strength

- Physical Therapy

- Coaching in the evenings

What’s your favorite workout?

High intensity interval training

How did you prepare during the COVID-19 pandemic?

I was living at home in Irvine, California. We did not have access to the ice rink. Brandon and I started our new partnership during the pandemic. We utilized the outdoors to start learning lifts and twists. We wanted to maximize any time we had before the rink opened up again. The lockdown put a delay on getting back to the ice and starting our new partnership.

What’s your nutrition plan?

My meal plan stays consistent through the week. I love oatmeal. It's been a staple part of my diet ever since I started elite training. My diet consists of a variety of food groups. I enjoy vegetables, meats, and nuts.

I love indulging in dark chocolate and cookies. I also love tortilla chips.

What’s your earliest memory of figure skating?

I started skating when I was 7. I do not recall the first time I said I wanted to be an Olympian, but I don't remember a day that I didn't want to become one.

What’s your earliest memory of watching the Olympics?

My earliest memory was learning about Tara Lipinski and her gold medal performance. I remember watching the 2002 Olympics in my living room. I wanted to do what they were doing and I was so inspired by the dedication and excitement I witnessed while watching.

What would you change about figure skating?

I wish figure skating had more diversity within the skaters. I think that change is coming slowly but surely. I wish our sport was not as expensive. Many families remove their child from this sport when the financial burden becomes too much to handle.

Are you close friends with any competitors?

I am not close to other skaters from other countries, but I have competed along side China's top two pair teams for many years. We are friends in a way that when we reunite at competitions, it is always joyful and kind. There is a language barrier but we do our best to show support.

What are your favorite hobbies?

I love to spend time reading at home or near the pool. It is my favorite way to decompress. I also love to rhinestone and sparkle things I own to wear.

Going to the beach with friends is a great way to enjoy the day. I love to take our dogs to the dog park. I love trying new restaurants with my husband.