The United States of America has a long and storied history in figure skating. Of the four main recognized categories in the sport, numerous American skaters can be found among its legends.

But in more recent history, the United States has frequently fallen short in one particular discipline - pairs. As a result, it's generally accepted among the skating community to be the weak spot for Team USA. But Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier might have just gone a long way towards changing that narrative.

Win world championship in a dominant fashion

Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier are the 2022 world-pairs figure skating champions.

In the end, they finished more than 20 points ahead of their closest competition.

Knierim and Frazier are also fresh off of the 2022 Winter Olympics in China. They did well enough to help Team USA finish in the silver medal position in the team figure skating event.

However, some critics might be quick to note the thinner-than-would-be-expected field at the world championships. Russian and Belarussian athletes have been barred from the championships held in France. This is, of course, due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Belarus' assistance in it. In addition, China, for whatever reason, did not send any of its skaters to compete.

The absence of Russia and China in particular also means the absence of some of the world's top pairs.

One or both countries would likely've played a key role in how the upper standings played out.

We may never know for sure how the 2022 pairs world championships would have turned out under normal circumstances. But those quick to disregard Knierim and Frazier's win should perhaps hold off on that. The pair had been on the rise for some time.

It would not have been shocking for them to finish on the podium. Even a gold medal, uphill of a battle as it might've been, wouldn't have been an outlandish goal.

Nearly a one-two finish for Team USA

After the short program, the United States had been poised to sweep the gold and silver medals in pairs. Knierim and Frazier were in the first place.

Their fellow Americans and good friends Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc were in the number two spot. However, the free skate would be disastrous for Cain-Gribble and LeDuc, culminating in a frightening injury.

Cain-Gribble hit her head on the ice in a fall to the ice. Afterward, she appeared visibly dazed and was eventually carted away on a stretcher. USA Today and NBC report that she was taken to a hospital.

In the end, Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan took the silver medal position on the podium, followed by Canada's Vanessa James and Eric Radford in bronze.

A relatively new team-up for Knierim and Frazier

This is not the first pairing for either Alexa Knierim or Brandon Frazier.

Both had previously had solid successes with previous partners before joining forces together.

Under her maiden name of Scimeca, Alexa Knierim started off with noted Bulgarian skater Ivan Dimitrov. She later paired with Christopher Knierim, who would also become her husband.

Meanwhile, Frazier began with Haven Denney. For a period of time, he was paired along with Mandy Garza. But he would re-team with Denney, spending several years together.