Ann Arbor brother-sister duo heading to Sochi for ice dance

The ShibSibs, as they are called, share with Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski what they're like on and off the ice

The partnership Maia and Alex Shibutani have on the ice really began at birth. The ice dancing pair from Ann Arbor are brother and sister.

Alex and Maia Shibutani have skated together for 10 years and are competing in their first Winter Olympics.
The siblings sat down with Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski to share a little of what they are like not just as ice dancers, but as family members. Lipinski is on assignment for Local 4 during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

"We've always had a close relationship and this is going to be our 10th year skating together so we kind of learned how to work together," Maia said. "And it really helps that we have the same dreams and goals. Not to say that we don't fight, sometimes we fight..."

"Most of the time our differences come from the creative process with our skating," Alex added.

This brother sister team has done well this season winning bronze medals at both their Grand Prix competitions.  They qualified for the Winter Olympics in Sochi after winning bronze at the US Nationals in Boston in January. In 2011 they won bronze at the World Championships for ice dancing, and were the US silver medalists in 2011, 2012.

When asked to describe each other, Alex admitted his younger sister has something over him.

"Honestly I think she's always been more mature than me.  She's just beyond her years," he said. "I think she's super intelligent and it can be really annoying sometimes because she's three years younger than me, and sometimes she'll just be like so quick to the punch. And she's very organized, she's on time, she's got it all together essentially."

Maia is equally complimentary of her older brother. "I mean we're a really good team because we balance each other out.  He brings so much thought into what we're doing, he has so many great ideas, he's really passionate about skating, but at the same time he has an amazing sense of humor. So that really helps while were training," she said.

Alex and Maia don't just share a passion for ice dancing. Off the ice, they are both very interested in film and have even created their own YouTube channel called "Shib Sibs." The videos often include other skaters. While Alex expressed an interest in television and film after his skating career, he said he "can't really predict the future."

Maia and Alex train alongside Meryl Davis and Charlie White at the Arctic Edge in Canton. Both of them also attend the University of Michigan.

To check out their ShibSibs video, click here.

You can read more about the Shibutanis at

Seven metro Detroiters will be competing for US Figure Skating. 

In addition to Maia and Alex Shibutani are Olympic silver medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Madison Chock and Evan Bates.  Jeremy Abbott will be in the men's figure skating competition.

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