Usually brothers and sisters bicker and get in fights, but for Ann Arbor siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani, synchronization and working together is key. The Shibutanis are ice dancers, heading to Sochi, Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Both began skating when they were under the age of 10, and have worked for many years for bragging rights such as being three-time medalists in the U.S. Championships for ice dancing, and earning the bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships.
Graduates of Huron High School in Ann Arbor, both the Shibutanis attend the University of Michigan. They are among 13 Olympians going to Sochi who call Michigan their home, including fellow ice dancers Meryl Davis of Canton, and Charlie White of Bloomfield Hills, who have a shot at gold.
Gov. Rick Snyder offered congratulations to all the Michigan Olympians in a statement today.
I congratulate all of Michigan’s Olympians competing in this year’s Winter Games for the tremendous honor they have earned to represent their country at the pinnacle of athletic competition,” Snyder said. “You are among the finest athletes our state and nation has to offer, and on behalf of all Michiganders, I join your families and friends in wishing you the best of luck as you compete to bring home gold.
The list of Michigan athletes includes:
Cam Fowler, of Farmington Hills
Ryan Kesler, of Livonia
Ryan Miller, of East Lansing
Evan Bates, of Ann Arbor
Meryl Davis, of West Bloomfield
Alex Shibutani, of Ann Arbor
Maia Shibutani, of Ann Arbor
Charlie White, of Bloomfield Hills
Nick Baumgartner, of Iron River, competing in snowboardcross.
Danny Davis, of Highland, competing in halfpipe.
Karly Shorr, of Milford, competing in slopestyle.
Jilleanne Rookard, of Woodhaven, competing in long track speed skating.
Jessica Smith, of Melvindale, competing in short track speed skating.
– Paige Pfleger, Michigan Radio Newsroom