Sochi Olympics 2014 Hometown Heroes – Alex and Maia Shibutani

Alex and Maia Shibutani might train in Michigan but ask Alex and he’ll tell you he’s a Boston boy through and through.

“I was born at the Brigham and Women’s [Hospital] so I was kind of born into the Boston sports obsession. We’ve moved a couple of times for skating and I’ve always stayed true to my teams,” he said.

Following his first skate on the ice at TD Garden during the national championships in January he admitted his mind wandered a bit.

“I catch myself glancing up there once every 5 seconds or so just to make sure our banners are still there,” he said.

The brother/sister team has become known as the Shib-Sibs. They have fun on the ice performing to a Michael Jackson classic that gets everyone involved.

“Thriller, it’s iconic, he changed the game with that song and we’re trying to change the game with our program. Practicing it every day, it’s a blast, everyone at the rink starts bobbing and moving around,” Alex said.

Off the ice the Shib-Sibs passion is their YouTube channel.

“We’ve posted music video, vlogs, scripted stuff; we have 20 videos on there right now and it’s something we really enjoy doing together. They’re so much fun,” Maia said.

The Shib-Sibs journey now heads to Sochi and they realize what it means to be on this stage.

“There’s so much work that goes into it – but the opportunity to represent our country in Sochi, it’s an unbelievable feeling and I think what makes it even sweeter is that we get to do it together. We knew that, no regrets, Shib-Sib style,” Alex said.

Alex and Maia finished third in the world championships and 2011.

Alex and Maia Shibutani

Career highlights:

  • 2014 U.S. Championships – Bronze
  • 2013 World Championships – Eighth
  • 2013 U.S. Championships – Bronze
  • 2012 U.S. Championships – Silver
  • 2012 World Championships – Eighth
  • 2011 World Championships – Bronze
  • 2011 U.S. Championships – Silver
  • 2010 Junior World Championships – Gold

Things to know:

1. Alex and his sister Maia are YouTube stars, filming and producing their own series of videos called “ShibSibs.”

2. In May of 2012, the Shibutanis were guests of Hillary Clinton at a dinner for the Prime Minster Shinzo Abe of Japan.

3. Born in Boston, Shibutani is a self-professed “enormous” Boston sports fan, supporting all its major teams. He’s also a big Michigan Wolverines football fan, where he goes to school.


Photos: Maia and Alex’s dorky Team USA Yearbook photos

Q&A with Alex and Maia Shibutani

Video: The Shibutani siblings on ballroom dancing and more