30. Alexa Scimeca Knierim/Chris Knierim USA
2017 Worlds short program
Absolutely one of the comeback stories of the year. When Alexa Scimeca Knierim/Chris Knierim's season started, most of their competitors' seasons had already ended. That's because they were chosen for the Four Continents and Worlds teams without competing all season long. She was coming back from a life-threatening illness so serious she didn't know if she would even skate again.
After her three surgeries, they were back to full training at the start of the year and made enough progress for US Figure Skating to accept their petition to the season-ending Championships. And at Worlds, they once again looked like one of the top pairs in the world, highlighted by this short program. Intentional or not, the choice of music perfectly encapsulated their relationship throughout the ordeal and the comeback. And they skated freer than they ever have.
In the end, they placed tenth in an incredibly strong field of pairs, but less than five points away from fifth. And to think, she had her third and last surgery less than five months before. It was an incredible story of commitment and resilience.