If you look at the ages of those who placed above them at the Olympics: 27/26, 24/26, 19/22, 30/33, 24/24, 27/28, 25/27, 21/25; then I think age can be ruled out as a factor for the Shibutani's. None of the people who placed above them are younger then them, and one team was the same age. Ice dance is not singles skating, which is where the age comments seem to come from. The Shibs age is not old in ice dancing- in fact, their world medal they were downright prodigies (and in a bit of a lucky situation for them) Actually now that the Shibs are older I hope to see their skating mature a bit. Maybe they will win medals, maybe they won't. It will be interesting to see how they stack up with the retirements and splits that are taking place this season. And there are certainly new teams who want to take their spot.