Maia and Alex Shibutani, known to audiences around the world as the “ShibSibs,” are the sister-brother ice dancing duo who captured two Olympic bronze medals at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Their dedication and hard work, skating together for 14 years, paid off as they became the first U.S. team of siblings to earn an Olympic medal in ice dancing and the first in the world to do so since 1992. The Shibutanis also made history in South Korea as the first ice dancers of Asian descent to claim an Olympic medal.
Maia, born in NYC and Alex, born in Boston, MA, spent their early years growing up in Boston, MA and Old Greenwich, CT. Maia and Alex decided to take up ice dancing when she was 9 and he was 12 after their family traveled to Washington, D.C., to see the 2003 World Championships. They were so enthralled by the ice dancing competition that they became a team shortly afterward.
During their first year competing, they earned a silver medal at the U.S. Junior Championships (2005) at the Juvenile level. From 2006-2007, they lived and trained in Colorado Springs, and won unprecedented back-to-back National titles at the Intermediate (2006) and Novice levels (2007). As they advanced to the Junior level, they relocated to Michigan to train alongside the top ice dance teams in the world. They debuted internationally with a gold at their first Junior Grand Prix at the ages of 14 and 17. They won silver medal at the 2009 World Junior Championships, and the Junior ice dance title at the 2010 U.S. Championships.
Upon advancing to the senior level, Maia and Alex made a historic debut on the international circuit in 2010, becoming the first ice dance team ever to medal at both of their Grand Prix events during a rookie season. By earning a silver medal at the 2011 Four Continents Championship, they became the first ice dancers of Asian heritage to medal at a major ISU championship. During the 2011 World Championships, they became the first American ice dancers to medal at their Worlds debut. At just 16 and 19, they were the second youngest team in the history of the sport (and youngest since 1962) to medal at the World Championships. They secured a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team, competing at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, competing as the second youngest team in the field and placing ninth.
Maia and Alex went on to win the national crown in both 2016 and 2017. Maia and Alex are the only ice dance team to medal at every level of national competition over consecutive years, standing on the podium at each of the 14 years that they have competed. A gold medal at the 2016 Four Continents Championships marked their first ISU Championship title. They returned to the World Championships medal podium, earning a silver medal in 2016 and the bronze in 2017. Their bronze-performance secured three spots for the United States at the 2018 Olympic Games.