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Good as Gold

All Smiles The Shib Sibs show their winning spirit. JAMIE SQUIRE—GETTY IMAGES

Figure skaters Maia and Alex Shibutani have been an ice-dance team since 2004. At the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, in PyeongChang, South Korea, they nabbed a bronze medal in the team event, on February 12. On February 20, the duo clinched bronze in ice dance.

For siblings Maia, 24, and Alex, 26, the bronze was as good as first place. “It feels like gold,” Alex said after the ice-dance medal ceremony. “It’s unbelievable.”

The duo are three-time world championship medalists in ice dancing, and twice U.S. champs. Fans have nicknamed them the Shib Sibs. The pair showed speed and strength during the ice-dance competition. But they made mistakes in the rhumba portion of their routine. Their score was not enough to earn them the gold.

Ice dancing blends athleticism and artistry. A pair must dance together across the ice while keeping a beat with the music. The Sibs excel at dazzling spins, earning them another nickname, the King and Queen of Twizzles.

In the end, the gold medal in ice dance went to Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada. Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, of France, won silver. But it was the Shibutanis’ can-do spirit that won the day.

“We feel so good with what we laid out on Olympic ice,” Maia said. “[O]ur best is all we can do, and we did that.”