Olympic pairs skaters Marissa Castelli, Simon Shnapir split

Marissa Castelli, Simon Shnapir
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The top U.S. pairs team from the Sochi Olympics is splitting up and seeking new partners.

Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir ended their eight-year partnership, U.S. Figure Skating said. Castelli and Shnapir finished ninth at the Sochi Olympics and won a bronze medal in the team event.

“It has been an amazing journey and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” Castelli, 23, said in a press release. “We will always share our amazing accomplishments with each other. I appreciate everything Simon has done for me and wish him the best in his future endeavors. I will continue skating and hope to be back performing in front of a crowd soon.”

The two-time reigning U.S. champions Castelli and Shnapir also finished 11th at the World Championships in Saitama, Japan, one month after the Olympics. Again, they were the better of the two U.S. pairs entered.

“I am very proud of the accomplishments Marissa and I have had over the past eight years,” Shnapir, 26, said in the press release. “I wish Marissa the best of luck with her future as I look forward to starting a new chapter in my skating career.”

Castelli and Shnapir are the latest top U.S. pair to break up after one Olympics. The 2010 U.S. Olympic pairs teams — Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig and Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett — were both finished by April 2012. Evora and Barrett retired.

The U.S. has not won an Olympic pairs medal since a bronze in 1988, its longest drought of any discipline.

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