Alex Shibutani: Wikis

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Alex Shibutani
Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani Podium 2009 Junior Worlds.jpg

The Shibutanis in 2009.
Personal information
Full name: Alex Hideo Shibutani
Country represented:  United States
Date of birth: April 25, 1991 (1991-04-25) (age 18)
Place of birth: Boston, Massachusetts
Residence: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Height: 1.72 m (5 ft 7+12 in)
Partner: Maia Shibutani
Coach: Igor Shpilband,
Marina Zoueva
Former coach: Patti Gottwein,
Rich Griffin,
Damon Allen
Erik Schulz
Choreographer: Igor Shpilband,
Marina Zoueva
Skating club: Arctic Edge FSC
ISU personal best scores
Combined Total: 175.95
2009 JGP USA
Comp. Dance: 34.63
2009 JGP Croatia
Original Dance: 56.35
2009 JGP USA
Free Dance: 85.51
2009 JGP USA

Alex Hideo Shibutani (born April 25, 1991) is an American ice dancer. He competes with sister Maia Shibutani. They are the 2009 World Junior silver medalists and the 2010 U.S. Junior national champions.

Contents

Personal life

Alex Shibutani was born in 1991 in Boston. He lived in Colorado Springs from 2005 through 2007. He moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2007.

While in Colorado Springs, Alex Shibutani attended Cheyenne Mountain High School and finished his sophomore year there. He completed his junior and senior years of high school at Huron High School. He entered the University of Michigan in the fall semester of 2009.

Career

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Early career

Alex Shibutani began skating at age seven. He originally trained as a single skater and competed up to the juvenile level in singles. He teamed up with sister Maia Shibutani to compete in ice dancing in 2004.

In the 2004-2005 season, their first season of competition, they competed on the Juvenile level, which is the lowest competitive level in the U.S. Figure Skating testing structure. During that season, Alex Shibutani represented the Hickory Hill Figure Skating Club in competition. They competed at the 2005 North Atlantic Regional Championships, the qualifying competition for the U.S. Junior Championships, and won the competition[1]. The win qualified them for the 2005 U.S. Junior Championships. At that competition, they placed second in the first compulsory dance, fourth in the second compulsory dance, and third in the free dance. They won the silver medal overall[2].

In the 2005-2006 season, they moved up to the Intermediate level. Alex Shibutani changed his club representation to the Broadmoor Skating Club, where he and his sister trained. The Shibutanis won the Southwestern Regional Championships, their qualifying competition for the 2006 U.S Junior Championships[3]. At the 2006 U.S. Junior Championships, they placed second in the first compulsory dance and then won the second compulsory and free dances to win the title overall[4]. They worked as guest bloggers and aides for the media staff for U.S. Figure Skating at the 2006 U.S. Figure Skating Championships[5], and again at the 2006 Four Continents Championships, which were held in Colorado Springs[6].

In the 2006-2007 season, they moved up to the novice level, which is the first and lowest of three levels that compete at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. At the 2007 Midwestern Sectional Championships, their qualifying competition for the national championships, the Shibutanis competed under the ISU Judging System for the first time. They placed second in the first compulsory dance and then won the second compulsory and the free dances to win the competition overall and qualify for the 2007 United States Figure Skating Championships.[7]. At the U.S. Championships, the Shibutanis placed second in both compulsory dances and then won the free dance to win the gold medal by a margin of victory of 2.06 points ahead of silver medalists Sara Bailey & Kyle Herring[8]. This was their second consecutive national title[9].

Junior career

The Shibutanis perform a lift at the 2008-2009 Junior Grand Prix Final

In the 2007-2008 season, the Shibutanis moved up to the Junior level. However, they were unable to compete internationally on the junior level because Maia was not yet old enough to do so. At the 2008 Midwestern Sectionals, the Shibutanis placed fourth in the compulsory dance and then third in the original and free dances to win the bronze medal overall. This medal qualified them for the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. At the U.S. Championships, they placed 7th in the compulsory dance, 2nd in the original dance, and 4th in the free dance. They placed 4th overall, winning the pewter medal.

In the 2008-2009 season, Maia became age-eligible for the international junior circuit. Alex Shibutani changed his club representation from the Broadmoor to the Arctic Figure Skating Club, where he and Maia trained. The Shibutanis made their junior international debut on the ISU Junior Grand Prix. At their first event, the 2008-2009 ISU Junior Grand Prix event in Courchevel, France, they placed second in the compulsory dance and then won the original and free dances to win the gold medal overall by a margin of victory of 11.00 points over silver medalists Kharis Ralph & Asher Hill[10]. They were then assigned to their second event, the event in Madrid, Spain. At this event, they placed second in all three segments of the competition and won the silver medal, placing 4.24 points behind champions Ekaterina Riazanova & Jonathan Guerreiro[11]. These two medals qualified them for the 2008-2009 ISU Junior Grand Prix Final, for which they were the third-ranked qualifiers[12]. Qualifying for the Junior Grand Prix Final had also qualified them for the 2009 United States Figure Skating Championships.

The Junior Grand Prix Final was being held concurrently with the Grand Prix Final for the first time and so did not have a compulsory dance segment. The Shibutanis placed 7th in the original dance, 4.79 points behind original dance leaders Madison Chock & Greg Zuerlein[13]. The Shibutanis placed 3rd in the free dance[14]. They placed 4th overall[15].

The Shibutanis went on to the 2009 U.S. Championships, where they competed on the junior level for the second consecutive year. At the U.S. Championships, the Shibutanis placed second in the compulsory dance[16], the original dance[17], and the free dance[18]. They won the silver medal, placing 6.78 points behind Chock & Zuerlein[19]. This was their fifth consecutive medal at a national-level competition. Following the competition, the Shibutanis were named to the team to the 2009 World Junior Figure Skating Championships[20].

At the 2009 World Junior Championships, the Shibutanis placed 5th in the compulsory dance, 4th in the original dance, and 2nd in the free dance. They won the silver medal, placing 10.40 points behind Chock & Zuerlein[21].

Coaching changes

Alex & Maia Shibutani with coaches Igor Shpilband and Marina Zoueva. The Shibutanis began being trained by them in 2007.

Maia and Alex Shibutani originally competed as single skaters. Their singles coach, Kathy Bird, arranged for them to work with their first dancing coaches Andy Stroukoff and Susie Kelley.[22] The Shibutanis also worked with Mary Marchiselli. During their juvenile season, their programs were choroegraphed by Josh Babb.

After moving up to the Intermediate level following the 2004-2005 season and performing well at the non-qualifying competitions, the Shibutanis went to Colorado Springs, Colorado to work with choreographer Tom Dickson. During that off-season, they were being coached by Judy Blumberg on the east coast. After doing better than expected at the Lake Placid Ice Dance Competition in the summer of 2005, the Shibutanis decided to move coaching centers to a better training environment and so moved to train in Colorado Springs under head coach Patti Gottwein[22]. During that time, they also worked with Rich Griffin, Damon Allen and Eric Schulz.

Following the 2007 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the Shibutanis changed coaches to Igor Shpilband and Marina Zoueva in Canton, Michigan[22]. One factor in the decision to change coaches was the issue of university for Alex Shibutani, who at the time of the coaching change, had two years left of high school and was considering his university options.[23]

Programs

Season Original Dance Free Dance Exhibition
2009-2010 Itsuka Mata
by Tetsuro Naito
Ao-ki Kaze
by Ryutaro Kaneko
Tango Rhapsody
by Luis Enriques Bacalov
2008-2009 Selections from
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
by Paul Englishby
Cinema Paradiso
by Ennio Morricone
Japanese Kodo Music
2007-2008 Japanese Kodo Music Piano music
by Jean-Marie Senia
2006-2007 Memoirs of a Geisha
by John Williams

Competitive highlights

(with Shibutani)

Event 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010
World Junior Championships 2nd 4th
U.S. Championships 1st N. 4th J. 2nd J. 1st J.
Junior Grand Prix Final 4th 3rd
Junior Grand Prix, Croatia 1st
Junior Grand Prix, USA 1st
Junior Grand Prix, Spain 2nd
Junior Grand Prix, France 1st
Midwestern Sectionals 1st N. 3rd J.
  • N = Novice level; J = Junior level

References

  1. ^ "2005 North Atlantic Regional Championships Juvenile Dance Final Standings". U.S. Figure Skating. http://www.usfigureskating.org/event_related_details.asp?ri=content/events/200405/regionals-na/juvdance-final.htm. 
  2. ^ "2005 U.S. Junior Championships Juvenile Dance Final Standings". U.S. Figure Skating. http://www.usfigureskating.org/event_related_details.asp?ri=content/events/200405/usjrchamps/juvdance-final.htm. 
  3. ^ "2006 SOUTHWESTERN REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS Intermediate Dance Final Standings". U.S. Figure Skating. http://www.usfigureskating.org/event_related_details.asp?ri=content/events/200506/regionals-sw/interdance-final.htm. 
  4. ^ "2006 U.S. Junior Figure Skating Championships Intermediate Dance Final Standings". U.S. Figure Skating. http://www.usfigureskating.org/event_related_details.asp?ri=content/events/200506/usjuniorchamps/interdance-final.htm. 
  5. ^ "2006 United States Figure Skating Championships Blogs". U.S. Figure Skating. http://stlouis2006.usfigureskating.org/Journals/JournalAuthor2/Journal1.aspx. 
  6. ^ "Belbin & Agosto Increase Lead at Four Continents". U.S. Figure Skating. http://www.usfigureskating.org/event_story.asp?id=32799. 
  7. ^ "2007 Midwestern Sectional Championships Novice Dance - Free Dance Final Results". U.S. Figure Skating. http://www.usfigureskating.org/event_related_details.asp?ri=content/events/200607/sectionals-m/novdance-free.htm. 
  8. ^ "2007 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships Novice Dance Result". U.S. Figure Skating. http://spokane2007.usfigureskating.org/Results.aspx?lv=novice&ds=dance. 
  9. ^ Backman, Daphne. "Shibutanis Claim Second Straight U.S. Title with Novice Win". U.S. Figure Skating. http://spokane2007.usfigureskating.org/News/RecapNews/012207ShibutanisClaimSecondStraightUSTitleWithNoviceWin.aspx. 
  10. ^ "ISU JGP Courchevel - Junior Ice Dance Result". International Skating Union. http://www.isufs.org/results/jgpfra2008/CAT003RS.HTM. 
  11. ^ "ISU JGP Madrid Cup - Junior Ice Dance Result". International Skating Union. http://www.isufs.org/results/jgpesp2008/CAT003RS.HTM. 
  12. ^ "ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2008/2009 Junior Ice Dance". International Skating Union. http://www.isufs.org/events/jgp2008/jgpsdance.htm. 
  13. ^ "SBS ISU Grand Prix and Junior Grand Prix Final - Junior Ice Dance - Original Dance". International Skating Union. http://www.isuresults.com/results/gpf0809/SEG007.HTM. 
  14. ^ "SBS ISU Grand Prix and Junior Grand Prix Final - Junior Ice Dance - Free Dance". International Skating Union. http://www.isuresults.com/results/gpf0809/SEG008.HTM. 
  15. ^ "SBS ISU Grand Prix and Junior Grand Prix Final - Junior Ice Dance Result". International Skating Union. http://www.isuresults.com/results/gpf0809/CAT004RS.HTM. 
  16. ^ "2009 U.S. FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS Junior Dance Compulsory Dance Final Result Details". U.S. Figure Skating. http://www.usfigureskating.org/leaderboard/results/34540/SEG016.HTML. 
  17. ^ "2009 U.S. FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS Junior Dance Original Dance Final Result Details". U.S. Figure Skating. http://www.usfigureskating.org/leaderboard/results/34540/SEG017.HTML. 
  18. ^ "2009 U.S. FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS Junior Dance Free Dance Final Result Details". U.S. Figure Skating. http://www.usfigureskating.org/leaderboard/results/34540/SEG018.HTML. 
  19. ^ "2009 U.S. FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS Junior Dance Final Results". U.S. Figure Skating. http://www.usfigureskating.org/leaderboard/results/34540/CAT008.HTML. 
  20. ^ "U.S. Figure Skating Announces World, Four Continents and World Junior Teams". U.S. Figure Skating. 2009-01-25. http://usfigureskating.org/event_story.asp?id=42483. 
  21. ^ "ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2009 - Junior Ice Dance Result". International Skating Union. http://www.isuresults.com/results/wjc2009/CAT004RS.HTM. 
  22. ^ a b c Mittan, J. Barry (2007-07-31). "Skyrocketing Shibutanis". Skate Today. Archived from the original on 17 January 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080117064232/http://www.skatetoday.com/articles07/073107.htm. 
  23. ^ Mittan, J. Barry (2008-12-22). "Shibutani siblings thriving in Canton, Mich". http://web.icenetwork.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081222&content_id=57965&vkey=ice_news. 

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