Beijing Olympics

Despite Distance, Families Gather to Cheer on U.S Figure Skaters for Day 3 of the Winter Olympics

Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier, of the United States, compete in the pairs team free skate program during the figure skating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 7, 2022, in Beijing.
AP Photo/Bernat Armangue

Family and friends of the U.S. Figure Skating team packed into a La Jolla hotel conference room to watch and cheer on their athletes.

Despite being thousands of miles away, the group's cheers and energy kept the spirit alive. First, on the roster Monday night was Alexa Knierim and her partner Brandon Frazier.

“I’m nervous, I always am when she skates but I know they've done some great work coming into this so I wasn't worried about it,” said Chris Knierim, Alexa’s husband.

“It’s just a very fulfilling feeling that you know you really believe in your daughter and she does everything and it just happens for her,” said Thomas Scimec, Alexa’s father. “It's just a great feeling.”

Up next were Evan Bates and Madison Chock.

“He’s the first U.S. Figure Skater to be in three Olympics and with his partner, this is their third Olympics,” said Eric Bates, Evan Bates’ father.

And finishing off the night was Karen Chen. The crowds' loud cheers not once slowed down, cheering on every single one of their athletes just as loud.

“We know all these kids, we know the parents,” said Bates. “It’s a great finish to a great journey.”

“I think it's special, without this we would all just be at our houses, watching it on tv,” said Knierim. “I think it's great we can all get together and watch it as a group and as a family.”

An Olympic family who despite the distance will continue cheering on their athletes every step of the way.

“This time we’re with them in spirit and love,” said Barbara Chock, Madison Chock’s mother.

The United States took home a silver medal in the figure skating team competition Monday morning. This is their best result since the event debuted in 2014. The Russian team took the gold.

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