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'Nothing sucks more than not being able to compete': Arizona native, pairs figure skater withdraws from Nationals ahead of Olympics

Brandon Frazier was forced to pull out of Nationals due to COVID-19, but he and his partner Alexa Knierim plan to petition for a spot in the Olympics.

PHOENIX — The road to the Winter Olympics in Bejing just got a little icy for pairs figure skater and Phoenix native Brandon Frazier.

After testing positive for COVID-19, Frazier and his partner, Alexa Knierim, were forced to pull out of the 2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championship on Wednesday night.  The event is the final qualifying competition to determine which athletes will be nominated to skate for Team USA at the Olympics. 

"Nothing sucks more than not being able to compete," Frazier said in a video on Instagram announcing the withdraw. 

After their unexpected withdraw, Frazier and Knierim plan to file a petition with U.S. Figure Skating to claim one spot based on their work leading up to Nationals. 

If successful, just one other pairs team will be able to qualify for the February Games. 

"I wish all the best of luck to all the competitors," Frazier said. "I was looking forward to a well-fought battle this week."

Frazier was born in Phoenix, grew up in Tampa, Florida, and now lives in Irvine, California.

How to watch the Championships  

Here is when and where to watch the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on television. Competitions air live across the country except for the women's free skate on Friday night, which will be delayed in some time zones. All competitions also stream live on Peacock.

  • Friday, 8:00 p.m. ET/PT: Women's Free Skate (NBC)
    • Airs at 7:00 p.m. CT/MT
  • Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT: Men's Short Program (NBC)
  • Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT: Ice Dance Free Dance and Pairs Free Skate (USA Network)
  • Sunday, 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT: Men's Free Skate (NBC)

The full U.S. Olympic figure skating team will be announced by Jan. 10, but athletes could be named throughout the weekend.

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