Ice dancing: one of the most exquisitely beautiful, graceful, and seemingly effortless sporting events of the 2018 Winter Olympics. Ice dancing together since they could barely walk, Maia and Alex Shibutani, brother and sister, grabbed bronze for the United States at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea for ice dancing.
Nicknamed “The ShibSibs,” this duo appeared to beat out others with their impressive technicality and footwork in their ice dancing moves which had to be of Latin American theme. Predictably, many American viewers felt the U.S. was robbed of the gold medal, and many were outraged at the yellow box or “in review” marks of the judges meaning not good on three out of the five of their required moves.
The pair’s figure skating sequence included difficult “twizzles” or a multitude of turns in sync with each other. The fear of being just a little off and the fear of a sharp edged ice skate piercing a skater causes viewers to be on edge. The fact that they pulled off such a difficult move all at once shows their talent for the technicality– a factor judged closely in this Olympic event.
The dancing part of skating makes it such a smooth and entertaining show for viewers. Maia’s and Alex’s outfits included extra sparkle, as Alex Shibutani wore a gem-covered beige top differing from the norm of a plain black top for the guys. Maia’s ruffle skirt added to the Latin American theme. The vibrant pop of colors in her skirt agreed with the Latin rhythm as well.
The ShibSibs have a history of wins. Starting at young ages, the duo trained in figure skating and then teamed up for the first time back in 2004. For ice dancing, they were able to be on the awards podium at the Olympics, and they received two bronze medals in the world championships in the more recent years leading up to this year’s Winter Olympics. Their record is outstanding even with their young ages of 23 and 26.
A not-so-sweet action toward to this young pair after honorably winning silver is when an interview reporter rudely asked them, “Not your best performance, what do you think went wrong?” and people rooted and cheered for them when they responded, “We actually think we did quite well.” Good for them!
For being one of the youngest pairs on the ice that night and pulling silver, they have shown to be a partnership to watch and made America proud. Congratulations Maia and Alex Shibutani.