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U.S. pairs team Castelli, Shnapir announce split

Two-time reigning national champs call it quits after eight years together
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With two U.S. titles and an Olympic bronze medal in their trophy cases, Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir had an accomplished career togteher. -Getty Images

Two-time reigning U.S. pairs champions Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir have announced they have ended their partnership after eight years together. Both skaters expressed interest in finding new partners.

Castelli and Shnapir, who trained in Boston under coaches Bobby Martin and Carrie Wall, began their partnership eight years ago. At the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, they finished ninth in the pairs event and skated both the short program and free skate in the inaugural team event, taking home a bronze medal as part of Team USA.

Among their other notable achievements are winning the bronze at both the 2013 Four Continents Championships and 2009 World Junior Championships.

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

The two skaters have had a well-documented, up-and-down relationship, and almost decided to part ways following the 2011-12 season. In a January 2014 article on icenetwork, Castelli was quoted as saying, "We hit rock bottom two years ago. We thought we were going to place (at nationals), and we didn't. We could either give up at that point or push ahead. We learned the hard way, and we are glad we have stuck it out."

The next season, the team won its first and only medal in the Grand Prix Series (bronze at the NHK Trophy) and captured its first of two consecutive U.S. titles.

"I am so honored and proud to have shared the ice with Simon for the last eight years," Castelli said. "It has been an amazing journey, and I wouldn't change it for the world."

Castelli said she also plans to keep competing.

"I will continue skating and hope to be back performing in front of a crowd soon," Castelli said.

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