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Ice dancing 'Shib Sibs' claim bronze at PyeongChang Olympics

After a 9th place finish in Sochi, Alex and Maia Shibutani have claimed bronze in PyeongChang.
Image: Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 11
Sister and brother Maia and Alex Shibutani win the bronze in figure skating ice dance at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea on Monday.Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty Images

The ice dancing duo known as the "Shib Sibs" claimed the bronze medal Tuesday morning in PyeongChang at the 2018 Winter Olympics ice dancing competition.

Alex and Maia Shibutani, who helped clinch the bronze for Team USA at the team event, received a 114.86 free dance score, which gave them a total of 192.59 — a decisive victory over fellow Team USA ice dancers Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, who ended the night with a final score of 187.69.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada held onto their first place lead from the short dance and won gold, while France's Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron earned silver.

The Shibutanis had finished Monday morning after the short dance in fourth place, just 0.02 points behind Hubbell and Donohue.

The Shibutanis were introduced to figure skating through birthday parties and basic group classes when they were growing up on the East Coast. Maia was four and Alex was seven when they first started skating.

“I just fell in love with it right away,” Maia told NBC News in 2016. She immediately started taking private lessons, but was alone on the rink. "Alex took a little longer in his involvement with skating.”

“I eventually got bored just hanging out at the rink," Alex said. "I decided to try it because Maia was having such a good time, and I was just literally on the floor looking for loose change so I could play arcade games."

A few years later, and the siblings were hooked. Their first memory of the Winter Games was watching two-time Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan competing at Salt Lake City in 2002.

“We were 7 and 10 years old, and remember sitting on the floor in our living room, listening to the Olympic fanfare, watching skating, and wanting to be like Michelle Kwan," the pair have said.

After skating individually, they paired up in 2004. Their first year on the senior circuit, they won silver at the 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Championships and followed it up with a bronze at Worlds. They continued to win national medals and made their Olympic debut in 2014, finishing ninth in Sochi. "With our eyes kind of turned toward 2018 in South Korea, we’re hoping we can carve out some history for ourselves,” Alex told NBC News in 2016. “That’s a lot of time between now and then. It doesn’t feel like a lot of time, but we’re excited to push ourselves.”

The siblings claimed back-to-back national titles in 2016 and 2017. They have also medaled at the World Figure Skating Championships the past two seasons, earning silver in 2016 and bronze in 2017.

Outside of the ice skating rink, the two have also gained popularity on social media, especially on YouTube. Their "ShibSibs" channel, which features vlogs from their travels, has more than 95,000 subscribers. They have also been documenting their 2018 Olympics journey through their active Twitter and Instagram accounts.

The pair became the first ice dancers of Asian descent to win an Olympic medal, according to NBC Olympics, helping Team USA earn a bronze in the PyeongChang Olympics team event after their second-place free dance performance.

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