Japanese-American siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani are the figure skating duo who are winning over hearts at the 2018 Winter Olympics representing Team America.
Fondly referred to as the Shib Sibs by their fans, the talented pair has become an instant hit after their electrifying performance on Sunday.
Finishing second in the short dance category of the figure skating team competition and earning bronze for Team USA, the Shibutani siblings set social media ablaze, with netizens expressing their support and admiration.
While the world is just starting to appreciate the siblings, Alex and Maia, 26 and 23 respectively, have been an ice-dancing duo for over a decade now.
According to Time, it was Maia who first started skating as a kid, and eventually got her brother into it too.
When they began skating together as partners in 2004, the siblings caught the attention of former Olympians Susan Kelley and Andrew Stroukoff, who competed as a pair in the 1976 Olympic ice dance competition.
After finishing second at the juvenile nationals that year, they moved to Colorado Springs to begin training with an Olympic-level coach.
Since then, they have been developing their skills and winning competitions all over the world.
At the senior level, the Shiblings have won a medal at every national championship since 2011, earning two golds, three silvers, and two bronzes so far.
They also made history as the first U.S. ice dance team to win a medal in their world championship debut by capturing a bronze in 2011. In their Olympics debut in Sochi in 2014, they finished ninth.
Their chemistry as brother and sister is evident not only when they are performing on ice but also in their YouTube videos where they occasionally share interesting stuff about their lives.
In an interview with Cosmopolitan, the pair revealed how their relationship as siblings empowers them more as a team.
“It’s not like we leave the rink and the relationship isn’t there,” Maia was quoted as saying.
“Obviously there are a lot of teams out there that will say they have a lot of trust, regardless of their relationship, but mine, I know concretely that we’re going to have our bond for life,” Alex agreed.
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