Alex Shibutani is a two-time Olympic ice dancer who competes with his sister Maia. The Shibutanis are three-time world championships medalists, four-time Four Continents medalists, two-time U.S. champions and 17-time grand prix medalists. Maia and Alex won two bronze medals at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and have been writing about their 2018 Olympic journey for TeamUSA.org.
Maia and I left for Korea and the 2018 Olympic Winter Games on February 5th. The past month has been the busiest, craziest and most exciting one of our lives. We went to Korea with hopes and dreams and left the Games filled with pride and two Olympic medals.
Although it’s a blur to me, Maia and I had the best performance of our career on Tuesday, February 20th. From the moment we finished our free dance in the individual ice dance event, so many amazing and memorable things have happened.
Right after we skated, we were able to greet the students from Jinbu Middle School in PyeongChang who came to our event to cheer us on. Since we had developed a relationship with them over the last six months through video-conferencing, seeing them in person in the stands with their signs and Soohorang outfits inspired us and made us so happy. It was also great seeing our friend, K-pop star Eric Nam, who surprised the students by riding on the bus with them to the arena.
During the on-ice victory ceremony, Maia and I stood grinning from ear to ear. Although we had experienced the victory celebration and the medal ceremony the previous week for the team event with our teammates, it was an overwhelmingly special feeling to be there again for our individual event.
I will never forget standing on the podium with Maia. Since we first started skating together many years ago, and particularly for the past four years, we dreamed and visualized winning a medal at the Olympics. Now we had two! From the stage, we searched for and spotted our parents in the crowd. Sharing this experience with them meant so much to us. They have been in our corner every step of the way – always believing in us and supporting our dreams.
The emotions and memories from our experience in PyeongChang will stay with us for the rest of our lives. We’re so thankful for each other, our family, our coaches and all of the people who have encouraged us along the way. To all of the people who were introduced to us during the Olympics, thank you for your kindness and support. While we haven’t been able to respond to every message, it’s amazing to feel so much warmth and excitement for what we have accomplished. Maia and I are truly grateful.
Since returning to the States, Maia and I have been home for a grand total of 12 hours. We’ve been traveling between New York City and Los Angeles, and will be headed to Boston next. To keep up with our travels more often and see videos we’re putting together, you can follow us on social media (links below). Stay tuned for more!