Married Olympic figure skaters compete on Valentine's Day - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Married Olympic figure skaters compete on Valentine's Day

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Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim of the USA react as they wait for their scores to be posted following their performance in the pair figure skating short program at the 2018 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim of the USA react as they wait for their scores to be posted following their performance in the pair figure skating short program at the 2018 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

(CNN) – Married for four years, Team USA figure skaters Chris and Alexa Knierim are the first married couple from the United States to compete at the Winter Olympics in 20 years.

The love birds are melting hearts on and off the ice, saying their marriage helps their performance.

"We're soul mates, so when we're skating together we really do feel like we're one person. It's very special for us because we know it's going to go beyond just a skating career. This is our life, and we'll be able to tell our kids about it. So, it goes much deeper than the traditional pair team,” Alexa Knierim said.

But the Knierims’ path to PyeongChang has been far from easy.

In 2014, after Chris broke his leg, the couple was sidelined for a year, and then soon after they married, Alexa was diagnosed with a rare, potentially fatal stomach illness.

"It's been the hardest two years of our lives together. Fortunately, we've had each other to lean on. Olympics is so special to us. We've been lacking the joy and happiness in life, and it's so nice to be here at the Games and really feel that,” Alexa Knierim said.

The two say competing together on Valentine’s Day will be special.

“I think we will be the only married couple in the world to say that they got to skate at the Olympics on Valentine's Day, so we’re setting a record there,” Alexa Knierim said.

However, no matter where they end up on the scoreboard, this pair has already struck gold.

"I've got to be in professional mode when we're doing the big tricks to make sure I'm not wandering because of her good looks, but in between is where I can just look at her and skate, and I think people in the audience can see the connection,” Chris Knierim said.

Copyright 2018 CNN, Getty Images, Instagram/Alexa Knierim. All rights reserved.

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