The Shibutanis Thread 6: Paradise Found

GloriaW

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Taking their story telling talents into yet another arena. From the announcement, they have a deal for a "series" of books through Penguin, a leading publishing house for children's books. They will be speakers at the American Library Association Convention in January in Philadelphia.
http://www.ala.org/news/member-news...ex-shibutani-are-auditorium-speakers-2020-ala

They sure keep busy. It's fun to keep up with all their projects through their Instagram accounts especially. They were just recently speakers at an event with Proctor & Gamble, I wonder if there's a video.

They just attended a gala screening at the Metropolitan Museum in NY of the documentary honoring Ralph Lauren, with whom it appears they continue to be partnered with. Vera Wang was there! Also, Bruce Springsteen, Anna Wintour and a bunch of fashion and entertainment celebrities. I thought Maia and Alex both looked great in their Ralph Lauren threads!
https://www.vogue.com/slideshow/very-ralph-documentary
https://www.instagram.com/p/B4BGEVWJb-T/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B4AdfBYJ-zY/
 

rosewood

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Shibs are visiting Japan. Today they appeared in a skating lesson & a talk show in Yokohama. And they revealed that they aim at Beijing Olys!

ETA: (my rough translation)
Alex: "We haven't announced that we've retired, and we're planning to come back (to competitions). Olympics are special to us. As the Beijing winter Olympics comes closer, we want to prepare in the span of one year or so."
 
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Laura4

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Shibs are visiting Japan. Today they appeared in a skating lesson & a talk show in Yokohama. And they revealed that they aim at Beijing Olys!

ETA: (my rough translation)
Alex: "We haven't announced that we've retired, and we're planning to come back (to competitions). Olympics are special to us. As the Beijing winter Olympics comes closer, we want to prepare in the span of one year or so."

The best news I've heard all week!! :cheer2:

Thanks for posting!
 

clairecloutier

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I for one will be very happy if the Shibs come back! I know that everyone wants the younger U.S. teams to have a chance at the Olympics, and I do too, but I would also love to see the Shibs skate again. :) Exciting news; although I'll consider it unofficial until we get an announcement from U.S. Figure Skating.

If they are coming back, I hope they come back for the pre-Olympic season, like V/M did. I think they'll need that season to reestablish themselves.
 

Spun Silver

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ITA, Claire. They always seem to know what's best for them but waiting until the Olympic season is very risky.
 

Khaleesi

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What do you guys think their chances are against H/D and C/B? Will it be easy for them to reclaim their #1 spot on team USA?
 

VGThuy

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Best news I've heard in a while.

What do you guys think their chances are against H/D and C/B? Will it be easy for them to reclaim their #1 spot on team USA?
I don't think it will be easy, but I think it's very attainable. I do hope the Shibs work on improvements (namely speed and power so it's easier for them to go from one move to the next and add transitions) and get ice dance choreographers who know what they're doing because in their past 2-3 seasons, they were pretty much on their own when it came to FDs and I like to see them have someone on their team who can help them make programs and come up with new lifts and highlights and in-betweens.
 

DreamSkates

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A year or so could mean the year before the Olympic year...hopefully they will start early. But they are smart and should be observing the state of ice dancing and what they need to get back on the podium.
 

rosewood

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OK now you don't need my translation from a Japanese article. Here is a video of the interview with them. The nuance is a bit different from the Japanese article when I hear their own words.
 

VGThuy

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Ok, that sounds much vaguer and less committed towards Beijing 2022. I got some stringing along speak from that interview. :lol:
 

Spun Silver

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Ok, that sounds much vaguer and less committed towards Beijing 2022. I got some stringing along speak from that interview. :lol:
Same reaction here. Oh well. When Alex said they'd decide in the coming year, it really did sound like they would be coming back in the Olympic season.

On their chances - I'm not sure about overtaking P/C but silver and bronze seem very open to me. So much depends on their programs -- look at the FDs of H/D and C/B for how mediocre vs great programs can change the narrative. So I am in agreement with VGT about the need for them to work with the right choreographers. If they came back with another sleek Coldplay routine they could seem a little stale. It would be amazing for them to come back rocking a new FD that surprised and excited people. Easy to say, not so easy to do!
 

GreenGan

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Would they change coach if they come back ? And what coach would you like them to choose if they do ?
 

aftershocks

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This announcement probably means that they've continued to train while taking advantage of all the off-ice opportunities. They've probably also been keeping an eye on the competitive ice dance field. It will be interesting to see what new approaches and looks they can bring to the arena. You don't come back unless you are hungry to continue improving and being the best, and you are confident you have what it takes. As well, they probably feel there's still room for what they have to offer. Good luck to them!

Most likely recent competition outcomes add to their feeling that there's room for them to come back and make a difference for the U.S. ice dance discipline with their level of talent and experience.

Would they change coach if they come back ? And what coach would you like them to choose if they do ?
This was my next thought too. If they do decide to come back, they could return to Marina. It's also possible they might return to Shpilband, especially since he's still located in the Detroit area, while Marina has relocated to Florida.

Ok, that sounds much vaguer and less committed towards Beijing 2022. I got some stringing along speak from that interview. :lol:
Okay, so now there seems to be something missing in translation? Or the interviewer and the report were overly enthusiastic and misleading?
 
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Sylvia

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Maia has shared more photos from her & Alex's recent visit on behalf of the #GoForGold program organized by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo:
More here:

Also ;):
 

GloriaW

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On and off the ice, Maia and Alex always make me so proud to be their fan.

Just in the past several days they have been going non-stop: Sports ambassadors representing the USA in Asia, supported and celebrated the achievements of other Olympians including Lindsey Vonn's HBO documentary and as presenters at the USA Swimming "Golden Goggles" awards. (Cute baby Maia in her swim cap)

Today they helped serve Thanksgiving meals to 500 people as Feeding America ambassadors.

Tomorrow, some lucky fans will get to see them in Hawaii as they join with Kristi Yamaguchi to open a holiday skating rink in support of children's literacy.

Ambassadors of goodness and kindness. Stuff the world sure always needs more of in my opinion. Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate!
 

DreamSkates

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All the above = a very good life (presence in the public and use of their many talents natural and acquired) ! Cheers to them both!
 

Sylvia

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MEET AND GREET IN NYC!!! ❄🗽 We’ll be at Ralph’s Winter Wonderland THIS Thursday (TOMORROW)! We’ll be signing portraits and taking photos from 6-8pm at the Polo Men’s Shop at Bloomingdale’s 59th St. (Lower Level). Come by and try on some awesome @poloralphlauren outerwear (because it’s cold) and enjoy some refreshments in the Polar Ice Lounge (because they’re complimentary 😅)
 

GloriaW

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Yes, the Meet & Greet with Maia and Alex for Ralph Lauren is TODAY in NYC!

Maia and Alex continue to do work to support Charity:Water

These were some cool photos.
 

suki

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This announcement probably means that they've continued to train while taking advantage of all the off-ice opportunities. They've probably also been keeping an eye on the competitive ice dance field. It will be interesting to see what new approaches and looks they can bring to the arena. You don't come back unless you are hungry to continue improving and being the best, and you are confident you have what it takes. As well, they probably feel there's still room for what they have to offer. Good luck to them!

Most likely recent competition outcomes add to their feeling that there's room for them to come back and make a difference for the U.S. ice dance discipline with their level of talent and experience.



This was my next thought too. If they do decide to come back, they could return to Marina. It's also possible they might return to Shpilband, especially since he's still located in the Detroit area, while Marina has relocated to Florida.



Okay, so now there seems to be something missing in translation? Or the interviewer and the report were overly enthusiastic and misleading?
I would love to see the Shibs back on competitive ice. What some critics called their limitation (siblings can't do romance), they turned it around and found more interesting ideas and concepts for their dances (instead of the same old same old). Of course their skating skills are:encore:But, with the current political trend in ice dance judging (overinflated RD scores that makes the outcome perfectly clear before the free dance begins, for one), I wouldn't blame them if they just decided to forgo the whole mess and continue to build a fulfilling life off the ice.
 

VGThuy

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Maia and Alex are teaming up with Master of None co-creator Alan Yang and street style fashion designer Bobby Hundreds to do a gold open for Lena Waithe and Melina Matsouka’s film Queen & Slim.

 

VGThuy

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OMFG, Maia just had surgery removing a tumor from her kidney. It had a 60/40 chance of being malignant. The surgery seems successful but you never know with these things.

 

Spun Silver

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OMFG, Maia just had surgery removing a tumor from her kidney. It had a 60/40 chance of being malignant. The surgery seems successful but you never know with these things.

It's very scary. Fortunately she is about as fit as a person can be - she has youth and strength to fight off anything. But I hope and pray she's in the happy 40%.
 

clairecloutier

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I just saw this and I’m shocked. Poor Maia! Thank God they caught this soon. Hopefully she will be well & it’s benign. 😳😲
 

VGThuy

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I saw that the Japan USA Council uploaded their hour-long Japanese American Stars: Next-Gen Leaders Setting a New Stage panel discussion at the USJC Annual Conference some weeks ago. The panelists were Maia & Alex, Toronto Raptors General Manager Bobby Webster, and SOTYCD's Koine "Koko" Iwasaki.


It's nice seeing a video of Maia in a more vibrant setting recently.
 

aftershocks

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^^ Thanks for sharing. I'm enjoying this panel discussion and seeing Maia and Alex again. ♥

The moderator is kind of misleading though when she states that Maia & Alex are the only ice dancers of Asian descent from any country to ever win an Olympic medal. While that is true in terms of ice dance (a discipline that's not been around as long), it's not true for the other figure skating disciplines. So the way it's stated could be misconstrued if people think she means skaters generally, and don't happen to realize the fact there are 4 disciplines in figure skating.
 

VGThuy

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^^ Thanks for sharing. I'm enjoying this panel discussion and seeing Maia and Alex again. ♥

The moderator is kind of misleading though when she states that Maia & Alex are the only ice dancers of Asian descent from any country to ever win an Olympic medal. While that is true in terms of ice dance (a discipline that's not been around as long), it's not true for the other figure skating disciplines. So the way it's stated could be misconstrued if people think she means skaters generally, and don't happen to realize the fact there are 4 disciplines in figure skating.
I don’t think it’s misleading because she only said ice dancers. I mean I said the same thing when it happened and it’s a big deal for many of us.
 

Dobre

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It's a big deal in ice dance. Diversity at the podium level in dance--the discipline for which results are most heavily based on the judging panel relative to less subjective base value criteria--has lagged behind all the other disciplines. For many reasons, not the least of which I think is that there are so few top ice dance coaches in the world. But also because there have not been enough successful international role models. I am glad that Maia & Alex are sharing their story with audiences because it is so important for young people to see that diversity can exist in this discipline. I look at the young athletes that have come up since Maia & Alex, and it is great to Avonley Nguyen, Jeffrey Chen, & Jonathan Zhao all coming quite successfully through the pipeline. It's also a shame that we have lost a few promising athletes from different ethnicities at U.S. Nationals since last season. I always feel like the lower ranks are more diverse so it is really a tremendous thing to have Maia & Alex speaking up as athletes at the highest level of the discipline.

Hopefully inspiring future Olympic gold medalists!
 

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