Shibutanis take circuitous path back to prominence

You're teenage siblings in a discipline where the major championship medalists long have been older -- twentysomethings at least -- so critical are performance maturity and adult passion to excellence in ice dance. 

It's only a year after you missed the podium at the 2010 World Junior Championships, and suddenly there are world bronze medals around your necks, which are all of 16 and 19 years old.

No one has done this before, going from the junior level to the world dance podium in a season. In fact, the best jump anyone can recall from junior to senior worlds was the sixth-place debut by Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir the season after becoming world junior champs.

Sure, you were a distant third at those 2011 World Championships to compatriots Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who went on to win Olympic gold, and their Canadian rivals, who were already Olympic and world champions.

But the road between you and more glory then seemed very short and straight.

If only it had been that way for Maia Shibutani and Alex Shubutani.

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