- Figure Skating
Cranston's Castelli skates for spot in Sochi
The nation's top figure skaters invade the TD Garden in Boston this week for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
Marissa Castelli and her partner, Simon Shnapir, hope to claim an Olympic berth. But they said Wednesday that's the last thing on their minds.
"Right now, we are just focusing on nationals and taking one thing at a time. We have a short program, a long program and a day in between. Those three days can make it or break it," Castelli said.
"It's right in front of us, but we are not trying to get too far ahead of ourselves and not trying get caught up with all of that. We still have a job to do this week," Shnapir said.
Castelli and Shnapir are the defending national champions, and they said having won the event last year will help them entering this week's event.
"I would definitely say more confidence and more experience. We've known for a while that we are capable of this and the fact that we did it last year was great, and now we are going to hold it up and use it," Castelli said.
The skating pair will be looking for a little home ice advantage come this week, Shnapir is from Sudbury, Mass., and Castelli is from Cranston R.I. They will have friends and family packing the TD Garden.
"I think this is a great opportunity to root for the home team and root for the home crowd. We have great ties in Cranston and great ties in Boston and we are going to have a really big cheering squad," Castelli said.
"It's cool to be on the other side of the boards, and it's just exciting to be in this atmosphere and to know this is our home and this is our turf," Shnapir said.
Castelli and Shnapir will skate Thursday and Saturday, and then the selection committee will announce the Olympic roster on Sunday.
Embedded owg_slideshow: Team USA: Figure skaters chase Sochi spots