What are the Winter Olympics without figure skating, am I right? I personally think that this is the one of the best events to come out of the the winter games. I love it all — the drama, the pageantry, and the skill that it takes to become and Olympic figure skater. But one of the lesser known programs that is a part of the overall figure skating event is the ice dancing competition. But a pair of Team USA siblings are making this event a lot more well known. The video of the Shibutani siblings’ short ice dance routine was nothing short of flawless.
A lot of people look forward to watching the figure skating captions during the Winter Olympics. But at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, the Shibutanis — a brother and sister team of skaters — have made their mark in the ice dance competition and put themselves on the map as a force to be reckoned with. On Feb. 19, the pair debuted their short ice dance routine and completely dominated the rink. The pair danced to a medley of latin rhythms and twizzled their hearts out in a near perfect routine. Their performance proves that they mean business this year and are serious gold medal contenders.
The pair has already taken to the ice in the Olympics this year, and even won a medal. The Shibutanis helped Team USA win the bronze in the team figure skating competition after earning second place with a score of 112.01 in the ice dance free dance portion of the competition. That score helped Team USA earn third place in this competition on Feb. 12, behind Canada and the Olympic Athletes from Russia teams who won gold and silver, respectively.
But tonight the brother and sister duo had the chance to shine individually in the first part of the ice dance competition. The short program is one of two programs that the Shibutanis will be skating in. Their individual event will come to a close on Feb. 20, when they will perform their free dance routine that will decide which pairs will make it to the Olympic podium or not. By the looks of tonight’s performance, I think it’s safe to say that the “Shib Sibs” are gonna make it up there.
23-year-old Maia and 26-year-old Alex, who hail from Ann Arbor, have been skating together since 2004 when the two were just kids. They’ve also already been to the Olympics before, when they made their debut in 2014 at the Sochi, Russia games. In their last winter games the siblings ended up finishing in ninth place in their individual ice dance competition, but it appears that the two have come back with a vengeance in PyeongChang and the determination to win. Prior to arriving in South Korea, older brother Alex touched on how important this year’s games are for himself and his sister. “We have pushed ourselves to prepare for a very important year,” he said at a grand prix ice dance event in Moscow, “Now is our time.”
And boy did they make a splash on the ice tonight. After earning a score of 77.73 in the first half of their ice dance competition, there is no doubt in my mind that the Shibutani siblings will make it to the top three in the end.