Healthier than ever, pairs skater Alexa Scimeca Knierim still rebuilding her body

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SALT LAKE CITY - Alexa Scimeca Knierim, who battled serious illness for much of 2016, said Thursday that she is "probably the healthiest I've been ever."

But, she and husband/pairs partner, Chris Knierim, are both far from the skating shape they want to have later this season.

"We're not trying to be at a peak here," Alexa said after a mistake-riddled performance left them third in Thursday's short program at the 2017 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic. "It's hard to maintain all the way to February for, hopefully, the Olympics. Pacing is a huge factor. We don't feel totally prepared for this competition, and that's OK."

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