My brother and I are big fans of two individuals named Alex and Maia Shibutani. They’re Japanese American, exactly three years apart (ages 22 and 19, respectively) and they’re siblings. In all three instances, the Shibutanis and my brother and I are the same. The big difference between us? My brother and I are not figure skaters competing in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
The Michigan-based siblings have just finished their first Olympic experience by placing in the top 10 for ice dancing, despite a wardrobe malfunction during their Michael Jackson medley routine in which Maia’s tights caught onto Alex’s costume during a difficult lift.
But the brother-sister team couldn’t be happier. “Everything went the way it should,” said Alex in an interview with the Greenwich-Post. “We’ve been taking everything in since we’ve gotten here so to finally have our Olympic moment it totally blew our expectations.”
Ice skating isn’t the only thing they’re good at. Alex and Maia, also known as the “ShibSibs” on their personal YouTube account, are also funny, light-hearted social media personas. Their YouTube account, which since its founding in 2012 has already gained 9,000 subscribers and over 1 million views, is compiled of silly vlogs and bloopers captured amidst the seriousness of their training.
“[Alex] is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met,” said Tara Lipinski, the 1998 Olympic champion and NBC Olympic figure skating commentator. “He has a [really] dry sense of humor.”
The duo has promised to upload more behind-the-scenes at Sochi vlogs when they return to the states to begin training for their last competition of the season at the World Championships in Saitama, Japan.