The new pairs skating team of Simon Shnapir and DeeDee Leng will make their competition debut at the 2014 Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, Russia later this year.
Simon and DeeDee, who teamed up after Simon, 26, split from former partner Marissa Castelli, will rep the USA alongside fellow pairs teams Haven Denney & Brandon Frazier and Tarah Kayne & Daniel O’Shea.
“It felt great the first day,” Simon shared with Ice Network after their partership was announced. “After the second day I was like, ‘This is pretty awesome.’ It was pretty quick.”
DeeDee, 20, added, “We got along quite well right off the bat. I went in with an open mind, trying not to expect anything. You always hope for the best, but you never know the results, so it’s kind of a ‘take it as it goes’ sort of thing. The first practice went really well, and I didn’t want to get too ahead of myself, but by the second practice we were great.”
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U.S. Pairs National Champions Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir have officially ended their partnership.
The pairs skaters, who took home the top prize at the 2014 U.S. National Championships earlier this year and placed 9th at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, have gone their separate ways and are on the search for new skating partners, US Figure Skating has announced.
“I am so honored and proud to have shared the ice with Simon for the last eight years. It has been an amazing journey and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” Marissa shared in a statement. “We will always share our amazing accomplishments with each other. I appreciate everything Simon has done for me and wish him the best in his future endeavors. I will continue skating and hope to be back performing in front of a crowd soon. Thank you to everyone who has supported us through the years.”
Simon added, “I am very proud of the accomplishments Marissa and I have had over the past eight years. I wish Marissa the best of luck with her future as I look forward to starting a new chapter in my skating career. I want to thank all of my family, coaches, friends and fans as well as U.S. Figure Skating and The Skating Club of Boston for their incredible support.”
Best of luck to both Marissa and Simon!
The U.S. Figure Skating Team is all smiles on the red carpet for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Committee’s Best of U.S. Awards held at Warner Theatre on Wednesday night (April 2) in Washington, D.C.
Polina Edmunds, Jason Brown plus pairs skaters Felicia Zhang, Nate Bartholomay, Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir all hit up the inaugural ceremony, which honored the best of the best of the Sochi Winter Olympics.
During the show, not only did Meryl Davis and Charlie White bring home the Team of the Olympics award, but Jason‘s coach, Kori Ade, was also honored with the USG Building Dream Award.
More Olympians on the way!
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Eric Radford and Meaghan Duhamel of Canada stand tall on their place on the podium after the free skate during the 2014 ISU World Figure Skating Championships at Saitama Super Arena on Thursday afternoon (March 27) in Saitama, Japan.
The pairs figure skaters secured a third place spot, collecting the bronze medal at the ceremony, just behind Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany and Ksenia Stobova and Fedor Klimov of Russia.
Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch, also of Canada, took the 4th spot while Team USA’s Marissa Castelli and Simon Shanpir placed 11th and Felicia Zhang and Nate Bartholomay placed 14th.
“Wow, what a year it has been! So proud of @NateBartholomay and I for working our butts off all year long and sad to say this year is over,” Felicia tweeted afterwards. “But onto next year! We are looking forward to another year full of experiences and hard work and make it even better than this year! And Thank you Japan & fans for your love and support this week! ??????????! It has been such a great time skating here as it always is!”
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Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir end their short program with some dramatic flair after the Pairs Short Program at the 2014 ISU World Figure Skating Championships held at Saitama Super Arena on Wednesday evening (March 26) in Saitama, Japan.
The pair placed 11th overall with a score of 60.60. Teammates Felicia Zhang and Nate Bartholomay stood strong in 14th place with a season’s best of 57.59.
“Felt really good to go out at our first world championships and throw down a clean short! #proud #trained looking forward to the long :)” Nate, 24, tweeted afterwards.
Later on, Jeremy Abbott and Max Aaron both hit the ice for the Mens Short Program.
Jeremy, who landed in 8th place after a fall on his quad, shared after, “I didn’t let the mistake unravel the rest of the performance,. I got a season’s best with 79 which will keep me close enough to the top. It’s not obviously where I want to be with this performance but it will keep me close enough in the long program that I can climb.”
Max placed 9th with a 78.32. Reigning Olympic champ Yuzuru Hanyu currently sits in third place.
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Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir join their teammates Felicia Zhang and Nate Batholomay for a group shot after their appearance on The Today Show during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on Thursday morning (February 13) in Sochi, Russia.
The Team USA pairs teams showed off their skills at the competition the day before, were Marissa, 23, and Simon, 26, took 9th place and Felicia, 20, and Nate, 24, placed 12th.
“So happy with our skates this week. Could not have asked for a better experience. Thank you everyone for the support and encouragement!” Marissa wrote on Twitter after the competition.
Felicia added on Instagram, “Such a great event! So proud of the two US teams tonight!! Could not be happier to be a part of such a great competition event and to call them my team mates!! #teamusa #olympics #lovethem!”
Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir show off their perfect sit spin during the Figure Skating Pairs Free Skating at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics held at Iceberg Skating Palace on Wednesday night (February 12) in Sochi, Russia.
The U.S. National champs took 9th place at the games with a score of 187.82. Teammates Felicia Zhang and Nate Batholomay stood strong at 12th with 167.21.
“We weren’t too worried about the placement coming in here because we’re a fairly new team,” Felicia shared with press after their skate. “We just competed in our first Olympic Games and we handled the pressure really well.”
So who took gold? Russia’s Tatiana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov were the clear winners, followed by teammates Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov in second. Third went to Germany’s Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy.
China’s Qing Pang and Jian Tong (who are retiring after Sochi) placed 4th and Canada’s Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch had a breathtaking performance, earning them 5th.
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The U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team rejoice on the ice after claiming the bronze medal after the Team Figure Skating Event during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Iceberg Skating Palace on Sunday night (February 9) in Sochi, Russia.
Jason Brown hit the ice first for the men’s free skate (placed 4th), followed by Gracie Gold for ladies’ free skate (placed 2nd) and leaders Meryl Davis and Charlie White for the free dance (placed 1st).
PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Gracie Gold
The team secured their third place spot, just behind Russia and Canada.
Captain of the team Charlie tweeted his thoughts after the medal ceremony: “What an amazing and historic moment! So lucky to be part of a team that showed courage, fortitude, and a lot of great skating! We worked really hard to earn that Olympic Medal- something that will be uniting us together as family for the rest of our lives!Go #TeamUSA”
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