Five favorite things with Castelli and Shnapir

She admits to having a sweet tooth; he enjoys visiting the Land of the Rising Sun

Marissa Castelli's favorite pairs move to perform is the throw triple Salchow.
Marissa Castelli's favorite pairs move to perform is the throw triple Salchow. (Tom Briglia)


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By Sarah S. Brannen, special to
(12/20/2012) - Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir have been skating together for more than six years. Shnapir was born in Moscow, Russia, and moved to Massachusetts with his family before he was 2 years old. Castelli, whose mother, Lori, is a figure skating coach, was born -- and still lives -- in Rhode Island.

The U.S. pair won the bronze medal at the 2009 World Junior Championships, and since turning senior the following season, they have steadily moved upward. This season, they have won their first two senior international medals: gold at the Ice Challenge in Graz, Austria, and bronze at the NHK Trophy. They head into the 2013 U.S. Championships with their sights set on the podium and a spot on the world team. What is your favorite pairs element?

Shnapir: The lift. I love doing lifts. Simple as that.
Castelli: Throw triple Salchow ... or quad. What's your favorite movie?

Shnapir: Star Wars. Especially the old trilogy.
Castelli: The Lion King. Do you have a favorite junk food?

Castelli: Definitely hot chocolate, but I like milk chocolate candy bars from Trader Joe's.
Shnapir: Though I don't really eat junk food, I do enjoy a good set of fries. How about a favorite country you've visited...

Castelli: I've visited Estonia, England, Czech Republic, South Korea, Japan, France, Canada, Slovakia, Austria and Bulgaria. My favorite place was Paris -- it was so beautiful!
Shnapir: Having visited many countries, with skating and vacations, I have to say I enjoy Japan the most. Italy is really amazing as well, but I've never been there for skating. Who is your favorite pairs team, past or present?

Castelli: Jamie Salé and David Pelletier.
Shnapir: My favorite pair team of all time is [Xue] Shen and [Hongbo] Zhao, hands down.