Local skaters Castelli, Shnapir Olympic hopefuls

BOSTON (WHDH) — Reigning US pairs champions Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir have skated all over the world but their road to Sochi now depends on what happens in their own backyard.

“We're just excited to have a full-on cheering squad. We’re going to have a lot of people here for us. I’m already looking around and just visualizing all the people here and it's going to be great,” Castelli said.

There will certainly be a hometown crowd for these two.

23-year-old Castelli is from Cranston, Rhode Island and now lives in Brighton.

26-year-old Shnapir was born in Moscow, Russia and moved to the US when he was two years old. He grew up in Sudbury.

But the chance to return to his parents' home country as an Olympian is the opportunity of a lifetime.

“If someone tells you they don't get butterflies, then they're lying. I live off the butterflies. I use them as extra energy when I skate but everyone gets nervous,” Castelli said.

The two have trained together for about eight years.

There's is a working relationship that comes with all the highs and lows of being with each other for hours on end.

“It's hard to do it every single day, but you know what? We come out here and we do it every day. and even if we're mad at each other one day, we can come in the next day, and we'll be perfectly fine,” Castelli said.

At the end of the day, they are simply setting their sights on gold.

“For me, all of the nervousness, the butterflies, they go away instantly. You hit that opening pose and the music comes on and that's it,” Shnapir said.