Ice Dancing is one of our favorite Winter Olympics events to watch, and in 2018, there's one team we'll be following closely. Brother and sister Alex and Maia Shibutani are probably the cutest Team USA duo. They'll be competing for a gold medal in ice dancing in Pyeongchang, South Korea, but before you see their sparkly outfits and amazing stunts on the ice, here are seven things you need to know about them.
They Have Been Skating Together For 14 Years
Twenty-six-year-old Alex began skating at age 7 and 23-year-old Maia first put on her skates at age 4. The duo's first competition together was at Lake Placid in 2004, where they did the cha-cha just a few months after first pairing up as an ice dancing couple. At the Boston US Open in the same year, Maia was so short, she couldn't see above the boards around the rink. They competed in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, coming in 9th place. This time they are going for the gold.
Their Nickname Is ShibSibs
The three-time world medalist brother-sister team is known throughout the skating world as the ShibSibs, a combination of their last name and the word siblings. They have a joint Instagram account under that nickname, but also have their own solo social media, @maiashibutani and @alexshibutani.
They Were Inspired by Michelle Kwan
The first Olympics they watched were the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. They were 7 and 10 years old and remember sitting on the floor in their living room and being obsessed with Michelle Kwan.
They Have a Special Connection to South Korea
Their grandmother was born in the Olympics host country, and the two have made several trips there to serve as athlete ambassadors for Team USA. In their spare time, they use videoconferencing to mentor students in PyeongChang.
They Love Their Dogs
They have two Maltese dogs, Lily and Po, whom they love dearly. "No matter what kind of day we have had, they are always so happy to see us. It's definitely comforting to come home to them and experience their pure joy and love," Maia told NBC Olympics.
They Are Also YouTube Stars
The two started their own YouTube Channel ShibSibs in 2012. They film and edit their own videos, giving fans an opportunity to get to know them a little better.
They Are Best Friends
We're not assuming, they often talk about it! Their love for each other is beyond adorable.
To learn more about Alex and Maia, visit Team USA. The Winter Olympics begin Feb 8.