Christian figure skaters Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim dedicated their Olympic routine on Thursday to the 17 people who were tragically killed this week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The husband and wife duo told media that they had dedicated their free skate to the memory of those lost.
“We wanted to skate for the 17 children that died in the Florida shooting, and today was much more than about us,” Scimeca-Knierim, 26, told NBC Sports. “We wanted a tribute to the U.S. for their loss.”
She continued, “Unfortunately, we had a lot of mistakes, but I think our motivation was to skate for those was were lost.”
May the hearts of those who are mourning the loss of victims in the shooting today be lifted up. You are on my mind and on my heart. God bless you all.
— Alexa ScimecaKnierim (@alexa_knierim) February 15, 2018
As Faithwire previously reported, the couple has openly discussed their Christian faith, speaking out about how it helped them overcome a difficult health challenge and persevere to compete in this year’s Olympics in South Korea.
Alexa Scimeca-Knierim was diagnosed in 2016 with a rare and potentially deadly gastrointestinal condition, one that left her needing a serious and immediate surgery on her abdomen in August 2016; then, she needed two additional procedures.
The health woes paid a toll, with Alexa Scimeca Knierim telling People Magazinethat the ordeal was quite harrowing.
“I’m 5-foot-2 and I was about just over 80 lbs. before and after surgery. I lost all of my muscle, and my body mechanics when I started getting back into working out were like next to none,” she said. “The very first time I stepped back on the ice after my surgeries, Chris had to hold me up because my body was not capable of standing on its own.”
Professionally, too, the situation was daunting. The couple were thrown into uncertainty, pulling out of every skating event for the first half of 2016.
Both Alexa and Chris Knierim, 30, relied on their Christian faith to get through it all, telling reporters this week about how God guided Alexa through recovery and prepared the duo to compete.
Read more of their story here.