Winter Olympics: US figure skating pair competes with heavy hearts

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The U.S. pairs team was in the warm-up room before the free program at Gangneung Ice Arena and glanced at the television in the corner. The pair missed nearly all of the 2016-17 season's competitions as she recovered, her new husband holding her so she wouldn't fall when she returned. They returned it to their program last month after Alexa missed most of last season with an intestinal disorder that required three abdominal surgeries, and the hard element came to symbolize the completion of her recovery.

Chris added that he whispered, "Great job and Happy Valentine's Day", which led to Alexa dropping this bomb: "I told him the only thing that would top this is having a child on Valentine's Day!".

Her absence took months off their training schedule as she was forced to learn the basic skating moves from scratch until her strength returned.

"Even here at the Games, it's no longer about me", she said.

"I was not focused on it while we were skating, but now that we are done, after we've skated, there's an emotional hurt", she said.

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Until Scimeca-Knierim's illness, the Knierims had posted the highest pairs score in the history of Americans competing internationally. They are the first USA couple to do the maneuver in an Olympics, though the quad twist is becoming more common throughout the world. And are any of them not figure skaters? The favorites, for example, are German pair Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot.

Here's cheering for a gold medal from the chilled out lovers! They skated four stressful programs in a span of a week, and with practice sessions and early morning wake-up calls, it's been a wearing time. Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford are in third. Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik, the North Korean pair who turned in a clean, crowd-pleasing skate, will enter the free skate in 11th place. Their score of 120.27, six below their season best, dropped them from 14 after the short program to 15 overall.

The Knierims will not approach that fourth-place finish.

The couple's performance wasn't what they had hoped.

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