The pairs of figure skaters and their partners are in Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics along with coach Chris Knierim.
PHOENIX — If you like the Beatles, playing poker and listening to a pug snore loudly, then you’d get along with Brandon Frazier.
The Phoenix native pairs skater is competing at the Winter Olympics in Beijing along with Alexa Knierim.
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The team and figure skating event kicks off at 6:55 pm AZ time on Thursday, February 3 and will feature:
- Men’s Short Program
- Short Program for Couples
- ice dance rhythmic dance
Frazier, who was born in Phoenix and grew up in Colorado Springs, started skating when he was 11 years old after roller skating for six years. But before his ice career began, he was learning to play poker at just 6 years old.
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He also owns a pug named Chowder who can snore loud enough to replace an alarm clock.
Frazier began skating competitively with her first partner from 2009 to 2011 and won the beginner’s bronze medal at the 2010 US Figure Skating Championships.
She then skated with her old partner Haven Denney, with whom she won a junior world title in 2013 and the US Championship pairs title in 2017.
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However, Frazier’s career hasn’t always been one of smooth skating. In 2018, Frazier went through a difficult time in his life when he and Denney finished fifth at the 2018 US Championships. Frazier said he was unhappy with his skating at the time and retired for a month.
Frazier continued to experience issues after finishing fifth again at the 2020 US Championships, around the same time that Frazier and Denney were planning to go their separate ways.
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Meanwhile, Frazier’s current partner, Alexa Knierim, was preparing to compete without her husband, Chris Knierim, who suddenly announced he was retiring from skating in early 2020.
In interviews, Chris said that he had been battling injuries and depression.
“He really supported me to continue competing,” said Alexa Knierim. “He knew I wasn’t ready to retire from competitive skating.”
With both skaters unpaired, the two decided to compete as a pair. The decision was also relatively easy, given that Frazier and Alexa have known each other for years after Frazier helped her and longtime friend Chris Knierim reunite six years ago.
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A pandemic and a move to California later, and Frazier is having consistent success with Alexa Knierim.
The pair have qualified in several competitions since joining forces, including third place in the 2021 Internationaux de France, first in the 2021 John Nicks International Pairs Challenge, and first in the 2021 World Team Trophy with the team from USA
Now, after nearly missing the Olympics due to a COVID-19 scare that forced them to withdraw from the 2022 US Championships, Frazier and Knierim head to Beijing in hopes of taking home gold with Chris like his coach.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism