Alexa Scimeca was born June 10, 1991 in Addison, Illinois. She became engaged to Chris Knierim on April 8, 2014. They married on June 26, 2016 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Scimeca began skating in 1998. She was coached by Trish Cazeau Brown and Sergei Telenkov from 1998 to 2008, by Maria Jezak-Athey in 2008-09, and by Vadim Naumov and Evgenia Shishkova from 2009 to 2011.
In the 2011–12 season, Scimeca competed with Ivan Dimitrov, with whom she trained in Connecticut.
Scimeca teamed up with Chris Knierim in April 2012. They train together in Colorado Springs, Colorado under coaches Dalilah Sappenfield and Larry Ibarra.
The pair won gold at their first international event, the 2012 Coupe de Nice. After a number of withdrawals by other teams, they received a Grand Prix assignment, the 2012 NHK Trophy, where they finished fourth.
Scimeca/Knierim won the silver medal at the 2013 U.S. Championships. They were assigned to the 2013 Four Continents Championships but withdrew just before the event — Scimeca injured her right foot in practice. Scimeca/Knierim were named to the U.S. team for the 2013 World Championships after Caydee Denney / John Coughlin withdrew. They placed ninth in their World Championships debut.
Scimeca/Knierim won the gold medal in their first ISU Challenger series event at the 2014 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic and won the bronze medal at 2014 Nebelhorn Trophy. They were assigned two Grand Prix events, placing fourth at both 2014 Skate America and 2014 Trophée Éric Bompard.
At the 2015 U.S. Championships, Scimeca/Knierim captured their first national title, setting new U.S. record scores in both the short program and the free skate. They also became the first American pair team to perform a quadruple twist in competition.
At the 2015 Four Continents Championships, Scimeca/Knierim placed fifth and earned new ISU personal best scores of 124.44 in the free skate and 187.98 total, setting new records for the highest scores ever achieved by a U.S. pair team in an international event. At the 2015 World Championships, the pair placed seventh. They then competed at the 2015 World Team Trophy, finishing fourth in the short program and third in the free skate, which ultimately helped Team USA win the gold medal. Scimeca/Knierim earned new personal best scores of 127.87 in the free skate and 192.09 total, setting new records once again for the highest scores ever recorded by a U.S. pair team in international competition.
Scimeca/Knierim began their season at 2015 Nebelhorn Trophy where they won the silver medal behind reigning Olympic champions Tatiana Volosozhar / Maxim Trankov. The team then competed at 2015 Skate America where they won the silver medal. They earned a new personal best short program score of 69.69, setting a new record for the highest score ever achieved by a U.S. pair team in international competition. The following week, they won the gold medal at 2015 Ice Challenge in Graz, Austria.
Scimeca/Knierim went on to win the bronze medal at 2015 NHK Trophy which helped qualify them for the 2015–16 Grand Prix Final in Barcelona, where they placed seventh. They are the first U.S. pair since 2007 to qualify for the Grand Prix Final. The pair entered the 2016 U.S. Championships as the heavy favorite for the title, but won the silver medal after costly errors.
At the 2016 Four Continents Championships, Scimeca/Knierim won the silver medal in their best competitive outing to date. They earned new personal best scores of 140.35 in the free skate and 207.96 total, which are the highest scores ever recorded by a U.S. pair team in international competition. A subsequent injury to Knierim limited the team's training before the 2016 World Championships, where they placed 9th. They were 7th in the short program with a personal best score of 71.37, which set a new record for the highest score ever achieved by a U.S. pair team in international competition. The pair then competed for Team North America at the inaugural 2016 KOSÉ Team Challenge Cup, where the team won the gold medal.
Scimeca Knierim began to feel sick in April 2016, and her illness interrupted Scimeca Knierim/Knierim's training throughout the summer months. She was properly diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening gastrointestinal condition in August and underwent two abdominal surgeries that month. The pair resumed light training in late September. Scimeca Knierim underwent additional surgery on November 1st and returned to normal training by the middle of that month.
Scimeca Knierim's illness involved regular episodes of vomiting, debilitating pain, difficulties with sleeping, eating or drinking, as well as significant weight loss. Knierim stated that when his wife initially returned to the ice following surgery, she had to hold his hand just to skate around in circles and could only skate for 10 minutes before having to go home for a nap because it was so physically draining. The pair withdrew from both of their Grand Prix events, the 2016 Rostelecom Cup and 2016 Cup of China, and the 2017 U.S. Championships. They resumed full training in January and were named to the U.S. team for both the 2017 Four Continents Championships and the 2017 World Championships.
In February, the Knierims made a strong return to competition at the 2017 Four Continents Championships, where they placed sixth in a deep field of Chinese and Canadian pairs. Their total score was the second highest score ever achieved by a U.S. pair team, behind only their score from Four Continents the prior year. The pair then competed at the 2017 World Championships, where they skated two strong programs and placed 10th in an exceptionally deep field. 5th through 10th place were separated by just 4.35 points. They placed 8th in the short program with a personal best score of 72.17, which is the highest score ever achieved by a U.S. pair team. They were the only U.S. pair to qualify for the free skate. Their total score of 202.37 is the second highest in U.S. pairs history, and they are the only U.S. pair to have ever surpassed the 200 point barrier. This was the Knierims' fourth top 10 finish in their four Worlds appearances. They are the only U.S. pair in the past five years to have placed in the top 10 at a World Championships.
GP: Grand Prix; CS: Challenger Series