Knierim and Frazier withdraw due to Covid | Golden Skate

Knierim and Frazier withdraw due to Covid

momrk

Final Flight
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
Country
United-States
Oh no!!! Alexa's instagram says they have had to withdraw due to Brandon testing positive for Covid in spite of being vaxxed and boosted. So sad to hear this. Hopefully he has only the mildest of cases.

alexa_knierim's profile picture

alexa_knierim

Verified​

It is with a heavy heart that Brandon and I announce our withdrawal from the U.S. National Championships. Brandon tested positive for COVID-19 despite being vaccinated, boosted and having obtained a negative PCR test upon arrival. We have taken all the necessary precautions leading up to these Championships, including but not limited to social distancing, the use of KN95 masks and canceling all holiday gatherings as well as private lessons at the rink, so it has been shocking and devastating for us to process what has happened. We have done everything in our power to prepare for this event and were ready to compete and defend our national title.
We are extremely proud of what we have accomplished as a team in our two seasons together. Brandon and I have accumulated an extremely strong body of work that positions us at the top of the field nationally and we are not letting go of our Olympic dream.

That said, we have the utmost respect for the selection committee and believe that they will make decisions based on the best interest of our team and our country.

Thank you to everyone for your well wishes. We will not give up and this is not the end of our journey. 💪🏻Best of luck to all the athletes competing this week.🖤
 

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Country
United-States
Brandon tested negative on Monday. He was not required to take another test for four days, but woke up feeling sick today and took a test as a precaution.


Respect to Brandon for testing. :rock:

I do think they have a good chance of a petition being granted.
 

Blades of Passion

Skating is Art, if you let it be
Record Breaker
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Country
Russia
That's unfortunate.

Opens the door for another Pair to do great at Nationals and stake their claim to the Team event, even though Knierim/Frazier are probably still most likely to perform best, pending assessment of his health and program run-throughs for the advisory panel.
 

BlissfulSynergy

Medalist
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Country
Olympics
Brandon tested negative on Monday. He was not required to take another test for four days, but woke up feeling sick today and took a test as a precaution.
Good grief! Sending good wishes to Alexa & Brandon! ❤️ :pray:

ETA:
Awww, my heart goes out to Brandon. I was shocked to see they WD. This is so sad. I hope he can recover. This is such a devastating situation with so many people testing positive at this time. I begin to wonder how the Olympics will be able to go forward with all that's been happening.
 
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Sasha'sSpins

Medalist
Joined
Apr 2, 2009
Country
United-States
Oh no!!! Alexa's instagram says they have had to withdraw due to Brandon testing positive for Covid in spite of being vaxxed and boosted. So sad to hear this. Hopefully he has only the mildest of cases.

alexa_knierim's profile picture's profile picture

alexa_knierim

Verified​

It is with a heavy heart that Brandon and I announce our withdrawal from the U.S. National Championships. Brandon tested positive for COVID-19 despite being vaccinated, boosted and having obtained a negative PCR test upon arrival. We have taken all the necessary precautions leading up to these Championships, including but not limited to social distancing, the use of KN95 masks and canceling all holiday gatherings as well as private lessons at the rink, so it has been shocking and devastating for us to process what has happened. We have done everything in our power to prepare for this event and were ready to compete and defend our national title.
We are extremely proud of what we have accomplished as a team in our two seasons together. Brandon and I have accumulated an extremely strong body of work that positions us at the top of the field nationally and we are not letting go of our Olympic dream.

That said, we have the utmost respect for the selection committee and believe that they will make decisions based on the best interest of our team and our country.

Thank you to everyone for your well wishes. We will not give up and this is not the end of our journey. 💪🏻Best of luck to all the athletes competing this week.🖤
Heartbreaking and scary too, considering the precautions that they took! They're my favorite pairs team since Chris retired. 😭😭😭💔💔💔 Above all, I wish for Brandon a full and speedy recovery! I hope that they can petition onto the Olympic team and, if approved, that they'll be ready by the Games.
 

litenkyckling

Final Flight
Joined
Jun 6, 2018
The athlete testing and safety seems incredibly lax here. A test every day is what needs to happen if you want an event to happen safely with Omicron circulating - a morning test could very easily look different to one that same evening. I think USFS are going to regret not cancelling their nationals at this rate - they’ve put all their athletes at risk and for what?

Ashley Cain-Gribble has developed asthma due to having covid in the summer. It’s no joke, and just because one person has mild symptoms doesn’t mean the next person will be the same. Athlete safety should’ve been the priority here and that has clearly not happened.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2018
Country
Norway
The athlete testing and safety seems incredibly lax here. A test every day is what needs to happen if you want an event to happen safely with Omicron circulating - a morning test could very easily look different to one that same evening. I think USFS are going to regret not cancelling their nationals at this rate - they’ve put all their athletes at risk and for what?

Ashley Cain-Gribble has developed asthma due to having covid in the summer. It’s no joke, and just because one person has mild symptoms doesn’t mean the next person will be the same. Athlete safety should’ve been the priority here and that has clearly not happened.

Agree. This is what worries me. They only had to take a test before arrival - and he hadn´t had a test in 4 days? before he developed symptoms last evening and was tested because of the test regime (He shouldn´t be blamed at all, this is purely to put on the host). He might have been contagious for more than one day already, so I would say the risk that more athletes will catch it is quite scary. Daily testing could perhaps have caught it up earlier and minimized the risk of spread. I hope the mask game is strong there, but I watched training and he wasn´t wearing a mask at the last practice. I can totally understand that because it´s more dangerous for the athletes and it makes it difficult with the heavily breathing. I read that in pairs it could even block the view and create very dangerous situations for the couples. So it has to be that way, and it increase the risk in an event like this. Because of the nature of the sport they are breathing heavily so the risk of catching and spreading is even higher. Therefore they should have gamed up the measure otherwise, and had at least daily testing to catch it up as early as possible.


I feel bad for Brandon, I wish him a speedy recovery. He sounded so devastated. Boosted and all, it sounded like he was really hoarse so if it wasn´t even for the the obvious reason of isolation and it was just a common cold he might not have felt well enough to compete.
 

gold12345

Medalist
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
How sad for them, and the US, because this is our best pair and it's in our best interest to use them in the Olympic Team Event assuming they are recovered and ready to go by then. Their petition definitely should be granted. I don't think it should matter much if the other pairs skate above their usual at Nationals, especially because one could argue that there's less pressure when the top team is missing, and who knows if they would skate differently with K/F there. For example, there has been more than one occasion where it felt like Calalang/Johnson would get affected having to follow a strong K/F skate.

I was really convinced K/F were going to repeat as US champions. They must feel devastated, especially because they took so many precautions and have looked so good leading up to the event. Alexa posted a really strong vid of their LP from a few days ago. If anything, it's good to test positive now instead of before trying to board the plane to Beijing.


The US's selection procedures allow for Knierim/Frazier to be frontrunners for the Olympic team without competing at Nationals. The key stat they are looking at is Median international score

Knierim/Frazier 202.97
Calalang/Johnson 195.98
Cain/Leduc 191.45
Lu/Mitrofanov 190.03

It seems they might calculate the Median with Worlds included (K/F also have an advantage as the top US finisher).

Median score going back to Worlds

Knierim/Frazier 202.33
Calalang/Johnson 195.98
Lu/Mitrofanov 190.03
Cain/LeDuc 189.90

Knierim/Frazier's median score is higher than the 5th place score at 2021 Worlds and consequently should place them alone among US pairs in "Priority Group 2", which is listed as the first method for selecting the Olympic team in USFS's Selection Procedures; the other 3 US pairs are in "Priority Group 3" and then would need further tiebreakers to separate them.


These are all of the US's international scores. K/F's scores are pretty drastically higher than the other pairs, it's really not close.

Knierim/Frazier: 212.55, 205.87, 202.97, 201.69, 186.69
Cain/LeDuc: 202.79, 193.00, 189.90, 170.64
Calalang/Johnson: 197.42, 196.85, 196.69, 195.28, 191.89, 180.49
Lu/Mitrofanov: 195.32, 195.20, 190.03, 186.16, 158.81

There's also a paragraph in the selection procedures that says if the GPF gets canceled (it did), they would maybe take into account 2020 Skate America as well to give these skaters a bigger Body of Work. And K/F won that event convincingly over all the other US pairs.

Aside from scores and the fact that they're nearly undefeated among US pairs throughout their entire partnership so far, K/F just flat out have the best potential to score well. So hopefully Brandon recovers well and the US does the right thing in selecting them. This is the US pair I'm most invested in, and I'd really be crushed if their great momentum as a newer pair gets stalled. They deserve to go to the Olympics.
 

Joe Mendoza

Virtuously Shady Diva
Final Flight
Joined
Jan 18, 2021
sending Brandon positive and healing vibes so he can get through this.

I do have to ask though - doesn't the IOC have some timeline requirements for when they get test results for all participating countries - could be completely wrong on that?
 

StitchMonkey

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
This is what I was afraid of. Thank goodness Omicron variant is much less virulent, though not for all. This makes me nervous for the Olympics even happening. Or what if Kamila (or whoever) tests positive right before the Games? Uggh. That's our new reality unfortunately.


In someways this is an ironic argument to send Liza. If one of Eteri, Diana, Anna, Sasha, or Kamila test positive. I suspect they all will have been exposed. It really is kinda putting all their eggs in one basket. Let's just say i think two of them getting is more likely than only one. I mean if Eteri test positive... well that is a lot of Russians that will have been exposed.
 

noskates

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Major kudos to Brandon for testing again. I feel so badly for them as they've worked very, very hard the past 2 years. I hope the Olympic committee takes their body of work into consideration. Best wishes for a speedy recovery and that Alexa does not get sick as well - or really anyone around them including Todd and Jenni and Chris K.
 

Joubabe

On the Ice
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Country
United-States
My heart is breaking for Brandon and Alexa. I had to fight back tears watching Brandon's video. I hope he has a quick and complete recovery.

This is my favorite pairs team and I became a fan of Alexa before she even paired up with Chris. I hope their petition to the Olympic committee is accepted because they've proven in the past year that they are the top U.S. team by all criteria set by the committee. When the new selection rules were implemented, the committee made clear that Nationals was not the deciding factor for selecting the team. I hope they honor the criteria they established.
 
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