We recently had the chance to spend a few minutes with Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, two-time National pairs figure skating champions and bronze medalists in the recent Olympic games. It was great to hear how they’ve celebrated their Olympic victory, what it’s like touring with Stars on Ice (you can also check out our review of this excellent show) and most importantly get some advice for our potential future skater, Baby G.
Kari: What has been your favorite part of celebrating since you’ve been home since the Olympics?
Simon: We threw out the first pitch at the Red Sox, which was really cool. I’m a huge Boston Bruins fan so we got to drop the puck at a Bruins game and saw the players after and got our jerseys signed, and of course meeting the president and first lady at the White House.
Marissa: Definitely coming on Stars on Ice. The tour has been excellent. We couldn’t have asked for a better cast. We have such a great time with everyone. We’re such a family now, and it’s just been amazing to have the opportunity to do this.
Kari: How different is touring from training for your schedule?
Marissa: For us it’s a lot more relaxed, but it’s still structural at the same time because we’re doing less skating, but more performing. So it’s a little bit more stressful, but we’ve trained so hard all season that this is a nice break for us just to come out and let our fun side out.
Simon: It’s definitely a great experience too, but it’s a lot different from training. Just the fact that most of our shows are at night and then we’ll travel that night to the next city, so we’ll be on the bus, they’re nice buses, but bus travel is bus travel and five hours on a bus showing up at the hotel halfway in the morning and sometimes having a show to do that day can be challenging. So it’s definitely a bit of a change from our regimented lifestyle at home with training. This is a little more …not spontaneous, but it’s definitely a little more taxing on the body in that it’s not something that we’re used to, but it’s such an incredible experience, it’s so much fun to be on the road.
Kari: Definitely. You guys competed twice so close in the Olympics and then another two times. How did you handle that? That must have been really intense.
Marissa: We just really relied on our good training system. Our coaches are great back home; they whipped us back into shape after each event. We had our scheduled breaks in so that we didn’t get overworked or anything. They’re really great with us.
Kari: What’s your favorite routine that you guys have ever skated? We’ve seen you skate “Royals” before and we absolutely die every time we hear it now we do your choreography in the car. I kid you not
Marissa: Well you’ll see it again tonight! Definitely my favorite is the James Bond free skate that we did this year. It’s something I’ve always wanted to skate to, and it was one of my favorites.
Kari: What do you do for down time on the tour?
RJ: So, here’s kind of a crazy question, if you could be any superhero, who would it be?
Simon: So it has to be an existing superhero? I like Spider-man. I’d be Spidey. I like that, definitely.
RJ: Kari is 14 weeks pregnant…
Kari: Thank you.
RJ: So what advice would you have to our potential future skater?
Simon: Play hockey!
Marissa: Let’s see. Put them on the ice right away and go!
Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir are both really nice and extremely talented. It was great to get a chance to speak with them. Marissa and Simon recently announced that they are ending their partnership. We wish them the best and can’t wait to see what the future holds for them!