Reigning U.S. national champions Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier have been forced to withdraw from the 2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, less than 24 hours before the pairs’ discipline starts, due to a positive COVID-19 test result.
Frazier began having symptoms on Saturday but tested negative; however, he began feeling worse by Tuesday and tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.
The national championship is the main criteria for figure skaters to qualify for the upcoming Olympics. Fortunately, Knierim and Frazier can petition to the selection committee and be chosen that way – a likely scenario as they are the outright top U.S. pair.
Knierim is a three-time U.S. national champion with her husband, Chris, and they participated at the Olympics in 2018 – placing fifteenth. Frazier won the 2017 edition of the U.S. Nationals with Haven Denney – when the Knierims did not take part at the competition.
In early 2020, Knierim’s husband retired and Frazier announced the end of his relationship with his former partner. Knierim and Frazier teamed up soon after and in their first season together, the duo won the national title and placed seventh at the World Championships. This season, the 30-year-old Knierim and 29-year-old Frazier took fourth place at Skate America and won bronze medals at the Internationaux de France.