Siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani recently helped Team USA secure the Bronze Medal with their stellar performance on Sunday in PyeongChang, South Korea.
It was a dream that the pair had been working hard for since they first began training for figure skating competitions some 14 years ago.
Last week, Alex shared a short video tribute to their mother, which he said he started making in 2016.
Then, after their historic win on Sunday, Alex shared an emotional post on Instagram and Twitter describing how he and his sister managed to traverse their Olympic journey despite other people viewing them as “different”.
“Last night was a dream that became a reality. @MaiaShibutani and I have worked so hard for this! Proud to be the first ice dance team of Asian descent to win a medal at the @olympics.”
“When we started skating together, Maia and I didn’t see any teams on the ice that looked like us. There weren’t too many sibling teams either.”
“Being so ‘different’ could have been a warning sign… but we were 9 and 12 years old and didn’t see ourselves as ‘different’. We were just having a blast skating together.”
“Throughout our career (14 years and counting), we have had to, and will continue to push past stereotypes, labels, doubters, and cynics.”
“We have become successful BECAUSE we are siblings and family. Not in spite of that fact. We have challenged ourselves to grow, innovate, and embrace what makes us different from other teams BECAUSE our differences are what make us unique.”
“When someone tells you that you can’t do something or that your success will be limited because of how you look, or who you are, keep moving forward. Set yourself apart by finding a way to utilize your strengths. Never stop believing in yourself.”
“Believe in your dreams and surround yourself with people who nurture and believe in your dreams as much as you do. Sometimes the journey can be lonely, but fortunately, Maia and I have always had each other.”
“You don’t have to look like anyone else. You don’t have to be or skate like anyone else. You don’t have to fit the mold or follow the path that everyone else is on. Just find, and be yourself.”
The pair, who has gained a massive fanbase worldwide at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, will still see action next week to compete in the ice dancing event.
Go get ’em, Shib Sibs!
Feature image via Instagram / alexshibutani