Castelli: "I like to have both my hands out on takeoff. There's tension in my left arm to create momentum, and Simon puts his right hand on my stomach to guide me into the throw."
Their considerable height difference -- Castelli is five feet, Shnapir is 6-foot-4 -- helps the reigning U.S. champions execute spectacular lifts and throws. While the audience and judges focus on Castelli, Shnapir's job is to project his partner up to four feet into the air, then meet her when she lands more than 24 feet away. "It's about sticking with what feels comfortable for Marissa," Shnapir says. "I'm not the one being thrown across the ice." The duo, who first competed together in 2007, showed us their unique twist on a move they added to their free-skate repertoire in 2012: a throw quadruple salchow, one of pairs skating's most difficult jumps. -- Noah Davis