TODAY   |  December 25, 2013

Olympic ice skating pair ready for Sochi

With 43 days left to go before the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, TODAY’s Natalie Morales talks to U.S. figure skater pair Simon Shnapir and Marissa Castelli about preparing to compete.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we are back with today's countdown to sochi. the winter olympics just 43 days away now. and we want to introduce you to some great u.s. pairs skaters. we have marissa castelli and simon, you are the reigning national champs . good morning to you.

>> good morning, savannah.

>> you getting excited for sochi?

>> yes, definitely.

>> a special connection for you. off russian background snvlgt i was born in russia, came over when i was just a little boy , just 16 months old, still families there, special to go back. you even speak russian.

>> i do speak russian. [ speaking russian ]

>> how are you, marissa ?

>> no russian.

>> yet. you have got the national championships first, you're defending your title. how are you guys feeling? how is practice going?

>> it is going very well. we are very excited and also skating in our hometown, we are going to have a great cheering squad.

>> you guys are boss tone yans, right?

>> thrilled to have the championships in our hometown, home ice , have all our friends and family cheering us on.

>> we are going to see a lot of you. nbc has a special coming up in a couple of weeks, it is kind of a two fer, gymnastics and skating. i mean, these are some of the most beloved sporting events in this country.

>> yeah, we are super thrilled to be involved with this.

>> all right. well, marissa , it is christmas. simon has offered me a little christmas present. he says that he can lift me on the ice. so, all right. you're on.

>> merry christmas .

>> thank you. what do i do?

>> put your arm up.