If you don’t believe in fate, our story might change your mind.
In 2010, Dalilah Sappenfield contacted Alexa for a tryout with Chris.
Alexa turned down the tryout because she had just committed to her first pairs partnership (with Ivan Dimitrov) in Connecticut. Although Dalilah’s matchmaking skills didn’t pan out this time, she redeemed herself in 2012.
After the 2012 U.S. National Championships, Alexa ended her partnership with Dimitrov. She contacted Dalilah and together they agreed that Alexa would move to Colorado for a coaching change and wait for her Prince Charming on ice to appear.
A week before Alexa’s move date, Chris’ partnership with Andrea Poapst came to an end. Dalilah called Alexa and said, “You need to be here…NOW.” Alexa changed her flight itinerary so she could meet the fabulous Chris. When Chris heard he had a tryout only three days after his current breakup, he was stoked!
Chris picked up Alexa from the airport and there was immediate chemistry between them as they ranted about how much they hated the current top pop song on the radio. They were both so excited for the tryout. They were like kids on Christmas morning anticipating how the gift opening would go! Within the first stroking pattern together, Alexa and Chris both knew that this was the beginning of a great future together.
Just 8 months after they teamed up in April 2012, Alexa and Chris have made a name for themselves by winning Coupe de Nice in France and placing 4th at NHK Trophy in Japan. They continued their successful season by winning the silver medal at the 2013 U.S. Championships. That season, they went on to finish 9th in their first World Championships.
They experienced a setback for the 2013-14 season when Chris broke his left fibula and had to have surgery in the summer of 2013. We won the pewter medal at the 2014 U.S. Championships, and was named second alternates for the Olympic team. However, the highlight of our season was winning the bronze medal at the 2014 Four Continents Championship and setting a new short program record of 66.04, the highest score ever achieved by a U.S. pair. That April, Chris asked Alexa to marry him. Of course, she said Yes!
The following season, after winning two medals in ISU Challenger series event, the team finished in fourth place at both our Grand Prix events, Skate America and Trophee Eric Bompard. In January 2015, they won their first U.S. title, setting new U.S. record scores in both the short program and the free skate. We also became the first American pair team to perform a quadruple twist in competition.
In the fall of 2015, they won their first ever Grand Prix medal, winning the silver medal at Skate America and then following it up with the bronze at NHK Trophy. They qualified for the 2015-16 Grand Prix Final, the first U.S. pair to do so since 2007. At the 2016 U.S. Championships, they won the silver medal, and followed it up with another silver medal at the Four Continents Championships.
In June 2016, Alexa and Chris were married in Colorado Springs. Despite it being the happiest time of their lives, it became one of the most challenging times for the newly married couple as Alexa was battling a serious gastrointestinal condition. She underwent two abdominal surgeries in August and another surgery in November. They would withdraw from both their Grand Prix events, along with the U.S. Championships, while Alexa continued to heal and resume training. They returned to competition for the 2017 Four Continents and the World Championships.
In January 2018, after finishing fifth at both Grand Prix events, Alexa and Chris won their second National Championship and are now heading to their first Olympic Games in PyeongChang in February! In the summer of 2018, Alexa and Chris spent time training with Aljona Savchenko and her coaching team in the greater Chicago area and Oberstdorf, Germany, before settling with their new coaches, Todd Sand and Jenni Meno, in Irving, California.
The possibilities seem endless for these two and they can’t wait to see how their story continues…