On the Daily: "Shib Sibs" capture bronze in Pyeongchang
On Monday evening, Maia and Alex Shibutani— University of Michigan alums affectionately known as the “Shib Sibs”— won a bronze medal in the ice dancing competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, marking the 168th medal won on the Olympic stage by a University of Michigan Wolverine.
Skating to a Coldplay melody, the performance earned the pair a score of 192.59, edging out Okemos natives and teammates Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue. Hubbell and Donohue took a devastating fall during the free dance which eliminated their podium chances. Both pairs train in Canton at the rink where 2014 gold medalists Charlie White and Meryl Davis also trained.
The siblings were the first sibling ice dancing pair representing the United States to earn a medal.
“We had no path to follow,” Alex Shibutani told CBS News. “There was no blueprint for us. (Coach) Marina Zueva had no experience with siblings or Asian-American ice dancers and we had to discover by ourselves our own path.”
For the Shib Sibs, their bronze medal finish marked an important milestone in their career that began over 14 years ago. After growing up on the East Coast, the pair moved to Ann Arbor in 2007 to train in nearby Canton and have the opportunity to continue their higher education at the University.
Following their 9th place finish in 2014 at the Sochi Olympics, the pair has gained a loyal following that spans beyond the ice dancing community. The pair is active on social media with over 36,000 followers on their Instagram account, @ShibSibs. They also have an active following on their YouTube channel where they post weekly video blogs chronicling their lives as elite athletes with the relatable nuance of sibling antics and morning routines.
In true millennial form, Maia Shibutani shared her excitement with fans on Twitter following the performance, capturing her and Alex’s emotion for their achievement.
“So proud! No matter what. @AlexShibutani and I just had the best skate of our lives!!!”