The Shibutanis Thread 6: Paradise Found

Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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Alex posted this last week:

Maia's 2 latest IG posts:

This is the first time in 25 years that @alexshibutani and I haven’t celebrated Christmas together. I can’t travel, and he is visiting our grandma, Lily, and Po. This is also the first year since I was a baby (and couldn’t do anything anyhow) that I didn’t have gifts for my family. I couldn’t have planned for the past few weeks, but I was so disappointed this morning that I had nothing for them. I can’t go anywhere and online shopping has been far from my mind - but still! 🤦🏻‍♀️ When I shared this feeling with them, they reminded me that love isn’t about gifts and material things. Love and appreciation isn’t just about certain days of the year. Of course, they’re right. I feel so much love for my family. They’ve supported me through this challenging time and they always provide a thoughtful and balanced perspective. Tell the people you care about today, and on any other days, that you love and appreciate them - it’s important! Wishing everyone a peaceful day. ❤
My mom got me this bear as a recovery gift to cheer me up. I named him Smirky because of his smile. Merry Christmas Eve from Smirky and me. ❤
 

Sylvia

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Send Maia your suggestions! :D ("... please share your favorite must-see movies from this year or any other year - I’ll check them out.")

The second photo of her IG post is the list of all the films she's watched this year... impressive!
 

missing

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I am very appreciative of this thread since the original announcement one in GSD doesn't always focus on Maia and what she is going through. I finally figured out if I want news about her and Alex, this is the place to go.

Since I'm here, I'll vent briefly but passionately about how totally unfair it is that something this frightening should happen to someone so young, hardworking, close to family and beautiful as Maia Shibutani. I understand that the universe doesn't make exceptions for individuals, but it angers me that she should have to go through this and that her whole life, one way or another, will be affected by it.
 

aftershocks

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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.
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!
Well yep, it certainly would be a big deal if in fact there was widespread diversity in figure skating for all ethnic backgrounds. At a certain point, it was rare to see diversity with Asians in any of the disciplines, but now it's rather commonplace to see Asians excelling in many of the disciplines. Of course, there hasn't been as much diversity with a dual Asian pair in ice dance, partly because ice dance has not been around as long as the other disciplines, and also due to the cultural attitudes (particularly in Japanese culture) against engaging in public displays of close physical contact (as well as due to the reasons you have cited).

I get the feeling and the pride of this being a big deal in ice dance, and I'm very proud and happy for the Shibutanis, and I wish they could have achieved much more, and sooner. Theirs was a long struggle, and their unexpected victories have been deeply satisfying due to all of the backlash they experienced and all the obstacles they faced.

Since it is now commonplace for Asians to be fully accepted in figure skating, I simply hadn't thought about whether or not there were many Asians represented in ice dance. So kudos to the Shibs for being a big part of breaking that barrier. There are certainly a number of other young Asians currently coming up in the ice dance discipline. The struggle for other ethnic groups to even begin to break through in any significant way in any of the disciplines is obviously going to take another long while.


ETA:
Okay, 'commonplace' may be the perception, but not the reality. Thanks to @VGThuy for making that point.
 
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VGThuy

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Well yep, it certainly would be a big deal if in fact there was widespread diversity in figure skating for all ethnic backgrounds.
So, it's not a big deal at all then? I disagree wholeheartedly with that statement, and let me explain my perspective as an Asian-American.

It's a big deal for many of us to see Asian-Americans excel in sports generally speaking. It was thanks to the likes of Kristi Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan who made many Asian-American parents feel figure skating was a viable option. Yamaguchi herself said she was inspired by Tiffany Chin. It may seem like a lot of Asian-Americans are participating in the sport, but many of them haven't necessarily been the top player since Michelle Kwan.

As for Asian-American men, that is a very recent phenomenon thanks to the likes of Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou. In fact, the 2018 Olympic team was notable for the amount of Asian-Americans on it and it was the first time there were so many. Just from memory, there was: Nathan Chen, Vincent Zhou, Mirai Nagasu, Karen Chen, Maia Shibutani, Alex Shibutani, and Madison Chock.

It was so notable that mainstream press covered it, not just in figure skating but overall.


As for ice dance not being a discipline for as long, as if that was something to make less notable, well, it was part of the World Championships since 1952, and I don't think that in of itself means it would take longer for Asian-Americans to succeed as it joined the Olympics at around the same time more Asian-American immigrant communities were moving away from being isolated as their children and their children's children were brought up American as opposed to their immigrant parents/grandparents (some Asians not all).

The moderator could have mentioned that Alex Shibutani was the first Asian-American male to medal at Worlds ever in 2011 in any discipline and was the first Asian-American male to win an Olympic medal in figure skating in any discipline. Maia was probably the youngest World medalist in ice dance in decades.

@aftershocks, I know what you are saying and what you are getting at. It's true, figure skating is a privileged sport and thus the fact that Asian-Americans can participate in it makes it seem like Asian-Americans have it better and are more privileged than other POC. It's the same discussion I've been hearing my whole life, that our representation and our issues are less-than. I get it.

But at the same time, that line of thinking always ignores very unique issues facing our community, which is not this huge monolith but is very diverse with different histories and some of the poorest, unemployed, incarcerated members of the population who often live in places with concentrated poverty and violence are from communities of Southeast Asians among many others. There's a huge divide within the community of those who immigrated to escape violence and war and those who came in through working visas due to their educated status, and I think it's important to distinguish that.

And though it does seem Asian-Americans as a group seem to have it easier than other POC, we still face issues once we "get there" as with the bamboo ceiling and how we're treated and seen and thus prevented from attaining higher forms of success due to perceptions of us as quiet working robots without creative or managerial skills.


Also, Asian-Americans often face barriers as we're often seen as "unAmerican" or "others" due to our immigration status, language barriers (read about the killing of Yoshihiro Hattori...they got away with murdering him), cultural/custom barriers, bearing faces of the enemies of three wars in that the United States participated in the 20th Century, and have been accused of stealing jobs from others, including undesirable ones. In fact, one of the most famous cases of hate crimes against Asians in the U.S. was the murder of Vincent Chin:


They thought he was Japanese (he wasn't, not even Japanese-descent), so two white men beat him to death due to anger regarding then-recent layoffs facing the automotive industry and blaming it on Japanese automotive imports.

Also, Michelle Kwan came from a less-privileged background and her family sacrificed a lot for her and Karen's skating. However, they were very lucky they were able to "afford" to do that. Many others who are even less well off than them have it more difficult and probably would not even get started in this sport.

However, there are always exceptions:

Dinh Tran:


Dinh Tran’s path to ice skating stardom takes him past drug addicts, prostitutes and the homeless along the pungent streets of the Tenderloin.

Mimi Hoang has reared her four boys in a tiny apartment in the crime-ridden Tenderloin neighborhood where she has lived for years. She and her youngest son sleep in a bed crammed into a large closet. Her oldest boys sleep in a bunk bed while Dinh uses a mattress on the floor of the living room.

“It’s like the curfew of the house: When someone goes to sleep, everyone needs to be home and everyone needs to be quiet,” said Hao Tran, the second oldest son.

Dinh takes it in stride.

“It’s nice to be around my brothers and my mom because that’s how we build a strong relationship,” he said.

Hao Tran said they feel safe though people have tried to steal from his mother. He and his brothers have learned to go about their day without interacting with the sketchy element outside the flat.

“I’m not afraid of where I live,” Dinh said. “If you focus on yourself no one will bother you. You can’t do anything dumb or you will get in trouble.”
I do appreciate that you brought this conversation up because I do feel it is relevant to Maia and Alex. They themselves have made connections, business partnerships, and friendships with other prolific Asian-Americans looking to change the face of Asian-America and to force better and more meaningful representation of Asian-Americans. The things said about how it's easier for Asian-Americans that was said in this thread is probably relevant to the perceptions of Asian-Americans and what they would like to change.
 
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aftershocks

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I've been following the sport for a very long time, and I'm fully cognizant of its history. I'm glad you are stoked and proud about Asian representation in the sport. Yes, Michelle Kwan was an important trailblazer, and there were others before her (including Minoru Sano, Emi Watanabe, Takeshi Honda, Midori Ito & Yuka Sato of Japan, Chen Lu of China, and Tiffany Chin & Kristi Yamaguchi of the U.S.), but Kwan's dominant and amazing career broke new and important ground for Asians generally, and as well for the sport as a whole in terms of her being a role model and an inspiration for everyone regardless of gender or ethnicity.

Athletes of every ethnic background, and every individual who aspires to achieve great things in the sport of figure skating have a story to tell. Sadly, barriers still exist in figure skating, particularly for individuals of African descent, and also for anyone who lacks the crucial financial resources. Added to that of course is the fact that this is the toughest sport in the world.

... It's the same discussion I've been hearing my whole life, that our representation and our issues are less-than... But at the same time, that line of thinking always ignores very unique issues facing our community, which is not this huge monolith but is very diverse with different histories and some of the poorest, unemployed, incarcerated members of the population who often live in places with concentrated poverty and violence...
Who said Asian-American issues are less than? Everything you indicate above applies to many ethnic groups around the world. Peoples of African descent are always lumped together as well, and not distinguished as coming from very different cultural backgrounds. There are huge issues of 'concentrated poverty and violence' for marginalized ethnic groups around the world, especially in Asian, African, and South American countries.

I also think these types of discussions can be highly emotional and unnecessarily so. There's no need to fight over which ethnic group has a monopoly on being victimized and excluded in prejudicial and biased ways in different fields of endeavor. As far as the sport of figure skating, for different reasons which can be debated, athletes of Asian descent have made a number of significant and celebratory inroads and accomplishments, with no end in sight. It's not unusual these days to see Asian athletes sweeping the men's podium, and also doing extremely well in pairs and ladies divisions too. That's a good thing and something to be proud of and to be celebrated and not taken for granted. No one has specifically claimed that these strides equate to Asians having it made in the sport, although that might be the unexpressed way some people think.

Simply put, athletes of Asian descent have indeed broken through in important ways and achieved a number of major milestones and accomplishments because they have been accepted, which in some ways means they are viewed by TPTB as assimilated into the sport's larger culture. I know that perception is problematic, because it makes Asian and Asian-American accomplishments seem common and their place at the table as won and done, when in fact as you are pointing out, there are more barriers to break through and more hurdles to scale for athletes of Asian descent, as well as for athletes of other diverse backgrounds.

I'm glad to hear more about Dinh Tran's background and his huge struggle to make it in the sport of figure skating. He's a very talented skater, and I look forward to witnessing his career. I know about the Kwan family's background and their early financial struggles in support of Karen and Michelle. Mirai Nagasu's parents struggled to support her career as well. Any number of skaters of all backgrounds face serious financial strains that can impede or prevent their ability to successfully pursue a career in this sport.

There are no easy or definitive answers or conclusions for any aspect of this topic.
 
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Japanfan

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As for Asian-American men, that is a very recent phenomenon thanks to the likes of Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou. In fact, the 2018 Olympic team was notable for the amount of Asian-Americans on it and it was the first time there were so many. Just from memory, there was: Nathan Chen, Vincent Zhou, Mirai Nagasu, Karen Chen, Maia Shibutani, Alex Shibutani, and Madison Chock.

It was so notable that mainstream press covered it, not just in figure skating but overall.

The moderator could have mentioned that Alex Shibutani was the first Asian-American male to medal at Worlds ever in 2011 in any discipline and was the first Asian-American male to win an Olympic medal in figure skating in any discipline. Maia was probably the youngest World medalist in ice dance in decades.
Patrick Chan is Asian-Canadian, but I still think he merits a mention.

It's true, figure skating is a privileged sport and thus the fact that Asian-Americans can participate in it makes it seem like Asian-Americans have it better and are more privileged than other POC. It's the same discussion I've been hearing my whole life, that our representation and our issues are less-than. I get it.
To generalize, there are some similarities between the Chinese and the Jews, and other populations, in that first-generation immigrants who came to the west worked hard and started businesses, and valued education for their children, often encouraging them to become professionals/business people. And many did make money, which logically follows. My view is so what if Asian-Americans are more privileged than other POC? White people have privilege simply by just being white, but privilege certainly doesn't belong to them exclusively. I want POC who are poor or disenfranchised to rise up to a higher level and have equal opportunities in society - not the opposite.

But at the same time, that line of thinking always ignores very unique issues facing our community, which is not this huge monolith but is very diverse with different histories and some of the poorest, unemployed, incarcerated members of the population who often live in places with concentrated poverty and violence are from communities of Southeast Asians among many others. There's a huge divide within the community of those who immigrated to escape violence and war and those who came in through working visas due to their educated status, and I think it's important to distinguish that.
I live in a very multi-cultural city with a large Asian-Canadian population (so wonderful Asian restaurants). My neighborhood is about 75% Asian-Canadian. When I go to vote in any election, about 90% of the people in line are Asian-Canadian. I love the diversity of my city, and perhaps am more comfortable with diversity than your average American, it being a key element of the Canadian identity, at least in large cities (they used to say Canada, cultural mosaic - U.S, melting pot).

When I go to a city not far away that has a much larger white population, I feel very strange - it seems like something is missing.

I know there is racism in my city. For example, I once heard someone comment at a mall: "You're not going to hear any language but ____ around here. Damn people should learn English".

But the people in my neighborhood live largely harmoniously and I've not once heard anything negative said about Asian-Americans by non Asian-Americans in the 20 plus years I've lived here. There is a Chinese greengrocer in the neighborhood that caters to Italian and non-Italian populations - but still offers some Chinese-influenced goodies (Candied ginger! Sesame honey flatcakes! Yum!). The store is popular with people who live far outside the neighborhood and travel just to shop there. It's the friendliest store imaginable, and the staff do entertaining sprints up and down the aisles to help customers find stuff.

Then, there is a store that caters largely to Asian-Canadians. It sells stuff like blood and pig's uteri (probably for medicinal purposes), and I assume they are for Asian-Canadians because that is the large majority of shoppers in the store. I go there for the fresh-cooked duck and pork, and salted garlic dry broad beans.

Unfortunately I don't have much contact with the Asian-Canadians in my neighborhood, other than just a friendly smile or bit of chit-chat while dog walking, or a brief conversation with my very-Westernized neighbors. There isn't much community around here, unfortunately.

I would be very interested to hear what the Asian-Canadians here have to say about their unique struggles and experiences.

And I know there are poor Asian-Canadians here as well, but know very little about their struggle. We hear a lot about the homeless population, but not about other struggling populations. There is a city housing project not far away with three huge barrack-like structures. I went in there once while doing door-to-door work some time ago, and the units were largely populated by poor, non-white people. I wish I knew more about them.

As I said, my reality is such that largely white communities are just really strange.

And though it does seem Asian-Americans as a group seem to have it easier than other POC, we still face issues once we "get there" as with the bamboo ceiling and how we're treated and seen and thus prevented from attaining higher forms of success due to perceptions of us as quiet working robots without creative or managerial skills.
I am sorry to hear that.

Also, Asian-Americans often face barriers as we're often seen as "unAmerican" or "others" due to our immigration status, language barriers (read about the killing of Yoshihiro Hattori...they got away with murdering him), cultural/custom barriers, bearing faces of the enemies of three wars in that the United States participated in the 20th Century, and have been accused of stealing jobs from others, including undesirable ones.
Again sorry to hear that. And again, maybe the situation in Canada is somewhat different due to the value we place on diversity.
 

aftershocks

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The things said about how it's easier for Asian-Americans...
Who said it was or is 'easier' for Asians and Asian-Americans in figure skating? Asians are certainly perceived as having made significant breakthroughs in the sport, and thus are seen as being more 'accepted' whether that's true or not, or just another obstacle to continue overcoming.

Patrick Chan is Asian-Canadian, but I still think he merits a mention.
Yes, because Patrick would have shared the honor that @VGThuy mentioned Alex Shibutani achieved at Worlds in 2011. Patrick won Worlds in 2011, while Daisuke Takahashi won Worlds in 2010, in addition to capturing a bronze medal at the Olympics. Patrick and Dai had also previously medaled at Worlds, breaking new ground for male fs athletes of Asian descent in the aftermath of Takeshi Honda, et al.

And of course, Shen/Zhao had broken through in the late 90s and early 2000s in pairs. It was not easy for S/Z as they were unfairly treated as an afterthought during the 2002 Olympics battle between the Canadian and Russian pairs. And then in the aftermath of Zhao's injury, S/Z had to play second fiddle to another Russian pairs team circa 2006, until they finally won the OGM in 2010.

So, it's not a big deal at all then?
Obviously, I did not say it wasn't a 'big deal' for athletes of Asian descent to make strides in ice dance. I said it would be a big deal if in fact there was widespread diversity for multiple ethnic groups in all disciplines of the sport of figure skating.
 
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nlloyd

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Obviously, I did not say it wasn't a 'big deal' for athletes of Asian descent to make strides in ice dance. I said it would be a big deal if in fact there was widespread diversity for multiple ethnic groups in all disciplines of the sport of figure skating.
Every step towards "widespread diversity" is a big deal and should be celebrated as such, IMO. The more we celebrate -- and promote -- the gains of each others' underrepresented communities (including LGBTQ), the more likelihood there of achieving widespread diversity. We can't wait until widespread diversity is achieved, before naming it a "big deal" and celebrating it. Allying with, and supporting, the gains of other communities is key to achieving the gains of our own underrepresented communities.
 

rupertsurvive

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If Tiffany Chin did not have her crazy Mom in her way she probably would have been an equally or even more dominant skater than Yamaguchi, Patrick Chan, or Kwan. Such an incredible talent, I always look back on tapes of her and her rise in 83 and 84, and so sad to know she would find herself surpassed by all of Thomas, Trenary, Kadvavy in the U.S and retire before the 88 Nationals since even though she won't admit it she knew she wasn't making the team. As a young skater she had it all, incredible jumps, great spins, beautiful artistry, great sense of music, speed and power. She probably would have won the 84 Olympics or atleast been a very close 2nd to Witt had it not been for the stupid compulsory figures. Chin and Zayak were also dumped further in figures since Sumners was not skating as well as she was in 83, and with Witt improving her figures the USFSA knew they had to put all their effort into helping Sumners beat out Witt for the gold. I am sure both were sold out in exchange for deals to help Sumners and deals for some of the other events. Fleming already kept talking about how Chin was the favorite for the 88 Games. By 85 she was already in very obvious decline, she had lost the triple flip, and was struggling with the triple salchow and even double axel. In 83-84 she was doing triple axels in practice. I am sure almost all her problems were due to her crazy Mom, the one that held her back from ever fulfilling her immense potential.
 

skateboy

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Alex posted this last week:

Maia's 2 latest IG posts:



I've been on vacation this week and didn't read this news until just now. Rarely do I cry, but this did it.

Sending energies to Maia for her complete recovery.
 

aftershocks

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Every step towards "widespread diversity" is a big deal and should be celebrated as such, IMO. The more we celebrate -- and promote -- the gains of each others' underrepresented communities (including LGBTQ), the more likelihood there of achieving widespread diversity. We can't wait until widespread diversity is achieved, before naming it a "big deal" and celebrating it. Allying with, and supporting, the gains of other communities is key to achieving the gains of our own underrepresented communities.
I don't disagree with anything you have said. However, I didn't say that we should wait "before naming [Asian and Asian-American diversity] a 'big deal' and celebrating it." None of my comments have been made dismissively. I think engaging in dialogue on these topics is important as well as enlightening and revealing.

Again, I didn't say it wasn't 'a big deal' to see the strides of Asian athletes in ice dance. I love and celebrate the Shibutanis and all they have contributed to the sport and to their community. I agree that we should celebrate the gains of all under-represented communities in the sport of figure skating, and in other fields of endeavor. The struggles of all under-represented groups are important, so I'm glad this conversation is taking place. But once again, there's no need to privilege any under-represented group over another. Hopefully, the strides of Asians and Asian-Americans in figure skating might lead to more widespread diversity for other under-represented groups, but at this juncture, I'm not holding my breath. It would be great if I were still around to one day see the next 'big deal' of increased widespread diversity in figure skating.

I think we can only hope that the strides of Asians and Asian-Americans will continue to flourish and to broaden in ways that might pave the way for multiple athletes of other ethnic backgrounds to also make increasingly significant breakthroughs in the sport. Unfortunately, at the moment, it appears to be one step forward, and three steps back for the most part. As I mentioned earlier, the reasons why Asians have been more accepted are not always based on genuine acceptance, but occur for other reasons that can be problematic in leading to presumptions about their inclusion which distracts from the struggles and battles Asians and Asian-Americans still face in the sport. I thank VGThuy for driving home the fact that we should recognize the diversity within Asian diversity, and guard against viewing the accomplishments of athletes of Asian descent as fully complete and commonplace.

In the film industry, I believe the #OscarsSoWhite campaign led by a group of actors of African descent may have played an important role in increasingly opening up more prominent opportunities for East Indians and Asians in film and television.

It's been great to see the gains of so many athletes of Asian descent in the sport of figure skating. I think it's also informative to take note of what VGThuy has elaborated on. As I agreed earlier, it is quite true that people of Asian descent are lumped together, and as well people of African descent are often lumped together when each respective group come from a variant mix of countries, cultural backgrounds and experiences.

I will never forget the clueless headline in a U.S. newspaper post the 2002 Olympics: American beats Kwan
 

Sylvia

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Maia's New Year's Day message (copied out below):

2019

There was laughter, joy, struggle, fear, and through it all, I grew.
It was an incredible, gratifying, and terrifying year of my life - a beautiful year and decade with a complicated ending.
I wrote this at the end of 2018, and now it gives me comfort as I look ahead to 2020:
“While no year is complete without stress, struggle, doubt, loss, or challenges, it has been our ability to handle the adversity and push forward that defines us. If 2018 was a difficult year for you, remember this: ‘The sun must set to rise.’ Here’s to 2019. Keep dreaming!” A year later, and it’s all still true.
The sun must set to rise.
I am recovering, I am grateful, I am strong, and I will get through this.
As the sun sets on 2019, and rises in 2020, I’m still fueled by passion, pushed by desire, and inspired by the world.
I want to feel, share, create, inspire, and be my best self. And I wish the same for you.
Appreciate every moment - those wanted, and those not asked for.
Do good and do well. Give back and never give up.
Keep dreaming. I will.
 

VGThuy

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The post also includes a great 7+ min video of her and Alex’s year in review. Some never before seen clips. Kind of bittersweet how it ends.
 

Buffybot

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Maia and Alex are on the cover of the Spring 2020 issue of "Graphics," a promotional publication (posters, buttons, stickers, etc) of the American Library Association.

The Shibs also have a new "Celebrity READ" poster that is available for purchase via the ALA website. (Us old-timers may also remember Michelle Kwan's lovely 1999 "Celebrity READ" poster featuring her Ariane-era short hair!)

Great to see them working on behalf of a great cause.
 

Rukia

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They played Spiegel im Spiegel on The Good Place series finale, and I immediately thought of the Shibs. I feel like that program of theirs is very underrated. I went back and watched 2017 worlds, and it was just stunning. I'm really missing in them in ice dance.

Glad to see Maia is out and about some though. Here's to her continued healing and health.
 

VGThuy

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They played Spiegel im Spiegel on The Good Place series finale, and I immediately thought of the Shibs. I feel like that program of theirs is very underrated. I went back and watched 2017 worlds, and it was just stunning. I'm really missing in them in ice dance.

Glad to see Maia is out and about some though. Here's to her continued healing and health.
It really is. Their Four Continents performance is one of my favorite ice dance performances ever. I think it was their most choreographically full FD ever with every part choreographed to hit the music.
 

SidelineSkater

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Yes! I think it was very underrated and was a beautiful piece of music and gorgeous choreography. Such a shame it didn't get more accolades (and levels) especially at worlds...and really US nats that year. Plus they had beautiful costumes!
 

VGThuy

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Before Maia’s surgery, she and Alex flew to Seoul to be interviewed by Korean pop star and their good friend Eric Nam for his podcast I Think You’re Dope:


If you don’t have Spotify, you can listen to it on iTunes.

The interview is 58 minutes long and it has some great stuff about their early career and how they felt as they progressed rapidly (they won almost every level of nationals and moved up a level every year from when they first teamed up to when they hit the senior level).

The best part was them describing the morning of the free dance in Pyeongchang and where their head space was at and it was funny how they talked about the way Eric sort of messed up their ritual since he went to see them compete with those Korean middle school students they had been mentoring for a year. Eric kind of freaks out because he was afraid he nearly messed with their heads :lol: .

There’s also some fun anecdotes and even a hilarious part where Eric plays a song for Maia.
 

DreamSkates

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Maia's New Year's Day message (copied out below):

2019

There was laughter, joy, struggle, fear, and through it all, I grew.
It was an incredible, gratifying, and terrifying year of my life - a beautiful year and decade with a complicated ending.
I wrote this at the end of 2018, and now it gives me comfort as I look ahead to 2020:
“While no year is complete without stress, struggle, doubt, loss, or challenges, it has been our ability to handle the adversity and push forward that defines us. If 2018 was a difficult year for you, remember this: ‘The sun must set to rise.’ Here’s to 2019. Keep dreaming!” A year later, and it’s all still true.
The sun must set to rise.
I am recovering, I am grateful, I am strong, and I will get through this.
As the sun sets on 2019, and rises in 2020, I’m still fueled by passion, pushed by desire, and inspired by the world.
I want to feel, share, create, inspire, and be my best self. And I wish the same for you.
Appreciate every moment - those wanted, and those not asked for.
Do good and do well. Give back and never give up.
Keep dreaming. I will.
When you survive cancer treatment and beat that disease, you are stronger and more alive than ever before in your life. Speaking from experience.
 

VGThuy

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I’m loving Maia’s movie related posts:


Some of my fave titles on this list, but I’m ecstatic that she watched Frances Ha (my fave film this past decade) and Yi Yi (my fave film of all time).

It looks like she’s working on her video editing skills from her IG stories too, especially with her splicing Daniel Day Lewis in Gangs of New York throwing a knife at a portrait of Lincoln and then having Daniel Day Lewis as Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln giggle as if he was reacting to it. Loved seeing scenes from Late Spring and Yi Yi in her story as well.

Also glad to see Late Spring, Persona, and Being John Malkovich on the list among others. I wonder if she liked Frances Ha because she ended up watching a few more Noah Baumbach movies after it.

I think befriending all of those Asian-American creative types has helped guide the Shibs in their preexisting interests.
 
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Kuurisu

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hi guys, i was just thinking of my favorite performance of the shibs when they danced to fly on by coldplay, but it seems it was deleted from youtube! do any of you guys know where i can find it?
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
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31,221
hi guys, i was just thinking of my favorite performance of the shibs when they danced to fly on by coldplay, but it seems it was deleted from youtube! do any of you guys know where i can find it?
Crap, you're right. It was deleted. That was one of their best choreographed routines. Shame.
 

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