Shib Sibs win ice dancing bronze medal for U.S.

Dan WetzelColumnist

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — The American brother-sister combination of Maia and Alex Shibutani won bronze in ice dance here Tuesday after delivering a clean and thrilling performance.

Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won gold for the second time. They also won in 2010 and took silver in 2014.

The French team of Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, who endured a wardrobe malfunction in Monday’s short program, rebounded with a world-record score of 123.35 to win silver.

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Virtue and Moir entered the day with 1.6 lead, enough to hold them off the French by scoring 122.4.

They won the overall with a 206.7. The French finished with 205.28. The Shibutanis had a 192.59.

The Shibutanis, who skate out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, edged fellow Americans Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, who started the day in third but slipped to fourth after Donohue stumbled during the performance.

Alex Shibutani (left) and Maia Shibutani perform during the ice dance, free dance figure skating final. (AP)
Alex Shibutani (left) and Maia Shibutani perform during the ice dance, free dance figure skating final. (AP)

The Shib Sibs, as they are known on social media, were thrilled with their performance, beaming as they finished. The judges saw the same thing, pushing them into a long-awaited podium spot.

In the past, Alex, 26, and Maia, 23, have felt they were scored too low by international judging. That included Monday’s crisp short program.

They didn’t have enough for gold or silver but bronze will be cherished. The two also won bronze last week as part of America’s team skate team.

The third American team Madison Chock and Evan Bates entered the day in medal contention but fell during their routine in a disastrous result.

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