What a year it's been for Cranston figure skater Marissa Castelli.
She and partner Simon Shnapir of Sudbury, Mass., won gold at the United States pairs championships in January followed by a bronze in February at the Four Continents international championships in Japan.
"We've been skating really well at competition and doing out personal best and we got a bronze at NHK -- a Grand Prix series -- and then went to nationals and won. And then we went to Four Continents and got bronze again," Castelli said. "All that was a huge accomplishment for us. It's the first time we've ever done it"
"It's still really fresh and really new and it still really hasn't hit me or hit us quite yet," Shnapir said.
"This is sort of like the birth of them, so to speak, internationally. So, I really think that they are both coming into their own as athletes," said Carrie Wall, the pair's coach.
Their impressive run continues. Next up for Simon and Marissa are the World Championships in Canada come March, and the two are excited as ever.
"It's an amazing opportunity. We've never been to worlds. We've only been to junior worlds once, and going to worlds is amazing. It's something we never thought we would be able to do, and it's a great experience for the Olympics," Castelli said.
And while they are just focused on the upcoming worlds, of course the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, have to be on their minds.
"Definitely, one of our goals is to defend our titles next year and become national champions again and definitely make the Olympic team," Castelli said. "That would be a dream."
The skating pair will continue to work extremely hard over the next year. The 2014 nationals will be held in Boston, and that's when the committee will make its Olympic selections.