Knierims dedicate free skate to Florida school shooting victims

FSKATING-OLY-2018-PYEONGCHANG

U.S. pairs figure skaters Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim took the ice on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 15 in South Korea), but they had something else on their minds.

After their free skate, the husband and wife shared that they were skating in memory of the 17 people killed in a school shooting on Feb. 14 when a man opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

See full coverage of the Florida school shooting at NBCNews.com

The Knierims followed up a disappointing short program with a free skate that couldn’t bump them into medal contention, but for Scimeca Knierim, their skate was bigger than just a score.

“We wanted to skate for the 17 children that died in the Florida shooting, and today was much more than about us,” Scimeca Knierim said. “We wanted a tribute to the U.S. for their loss. Unfortunately, we had a lot of mistakes, but I think our motivation was to skate for those was were lost.”

As the only pairs figure skating couple representing the U.S. this year, the Knierims earned 185.82 points overall, putting them in 15th. Scimeca Knierim mentioned fighting a stomach bug the evening before and the morning of her free skate but didn’t attribute anything specific to their final results. She noted that the bug was unrelated to her previous stomach and abdominal issues. 

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