Are the Shibutanis named after Usova Zhulin?

SingleSal

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This can't be a coincidence but I've never found a confirmation: is Maia and Alex Shibutani named after Maia Usova and Alexander Zhulin?
 

VGThuy

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I haven’t heard anything about that. I know Alex means protector of men and there was Alexander the Great. His Japanese name “Hideo” means excellent male child.

Maia is comes from Greek mythology meaning earth mother and the goddess of Spring was named that. Her Japanese name “Harumi” means springtime beauty.

I don’t think their parents ever thought they’d end up elite ice dancers when naming them.
 
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vireo

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I've always seen Usova's first name spelled "Maya" in the Roman alphabet. Alexander is a classic name with a long history, popular in many countries. I believe the similarity in names is just a coincidence.

I recall reading somewhere that Maia and Alex had, on rare occasions, enjoyed pulling someone's leg by claiming they were named after Usova and Zhulin. Unfortunately, I can't remember where I read that.
 

Immortelle

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I never associated their names with U/Z either. Probably because she was Maya and he was Sasha 😊
That’s interesting about the Shibs’ Japanese names as well, I always thought to myself that Maia was the perfect name for an ice dancer of Japanese descent - 舞亜 = mai-a = ‘dance-Asia’ 😊
 

VGThuy

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Yes it’s well known
No, it's not.

I wish I saw more Zhulin/Shibs interaction though while they were competing against Bobrova/Soloviev. I do remember hearing about members of his team and the Russian Fed were recording the Shibs throughout their 2016 Skate America FD performance though. I do remember he has had nice things to say about them and their technical skill. I kind of want to see a video of the Shibs reacting to Usova/Zhulin programs and vice versa.
 

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