U.S. figure skating pair dedicates Olympic performance to Florida shooting victims – Metro US

U.S. figure skating pair dedicates Olympic performance to Florida shooting victims

Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim

Yesterday, in the deadliest shooting since Sandy Hook, a 19-year-old former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, opened fire with an AR-15, killing at least 17 people and injuring 15, according to Huffington Post.

The accused gunman, Nikolas Cruz, is being charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. 

While the Parkland community and the rest of the nation was in disarray, news traveled overseas to Americans participating in the PyeongChang Games. 

Figure skating duo Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and husband Chris Knierim dedicated their long program at the pair skating finals to the victims of the Parkland mass shooting.

“May the hearts of those who are mourning the loss of victims in the shooting today be lifted up,” Scimeca-Knierim tweeted that day. “You are on my mind and on my heart. God bless you all.”

“We are so privileged and lucky to be doing what we are doing, and it’s so sad that 17 people died in the United States,” Scimeca-Knierim said after their performance, according to the Associated Press. “I told Chris today he’d need to be so much stronger than me.”

“We wanted to skate for the 17 children that died in the Florida shooting,” she continued. “And today was much more than about us.”

According to reports, the victims were a mixture of students and adults, including a football coach and a female attending the school.

During their performance (which you can watch here) husband and wife became the first U.S. pair to do a quad twist at an Olympic Games.

They received bronze medals in the team figure skating event earlier this week, but their go at a title in the pairs final wasn’t fulfilled. They scored 185.82 overall and finished off the podium in 15th place.

“I am disappointed with the way we performed today, but so many people at home are hurting because their children have died,” Scimeca-Knierim said.

“Unfortunately, we had a lot of mistakes,” she also said during a post-performance interview with NBC Sports, “but I think our motivation was to skate for those who were lost.”

How to donate to the Florida shooting victims

A GoFundMe page started by the Broward Education Foundation today raised over $136,000 in the first hour. 

“Donations raised here will be used to provide relief and financial support to the victims and families of the horrific shooting,” the page reads. 

To donate to the Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund, click here