Maia and Alex Shibutani earned their first-ever ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final medal Saturday evening in Marseille, France, when they took bronze, also marking the 10th consecutive year a U.S. ice dance team has medaled at the event.
The reigning world silver medalists earned a total score of 189.60, 7.62 points behind champions two-time Olympic medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada, who posted a 197.22. The silver medal went to 2016 world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France, who scored 192.81.
Fourth at past two Finals, the siblings broke through to a podium finish in their fourth Grand Prix Final. They stood second after Friday’s short dance with 77.97 points, but held only a 0.11 advantage on the French team. That proved to be too little to hold onto the spot during Saturday’s free dance, when Papadakis and Cizeron posted a 114.95, 3.32 points ahead of the Shibutanis’ 111.63.
Virtue and Moir gave Canada its third straight Grand Prix Final gold in ice dance after Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje had claimed the prior two titles.
After taking silver at the past two Finals, Madison Chock and Evans Bates placed sixth Saturday with their score of 179.32, 0.27 behind fellow Americans Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, who last year were sixth.
The U.S. ice dance podium run began with a silver medal by Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto in 2007 and was bolstered by five straight gold medals (2008-13) by 2014 Olympic champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White.