U.S. ice dancers keep piling up world medals

BOSTON - In “Fix You,” the Coldplay song ice dancers Maia and Alex Shibutani chose for their free dance this season, the lyrics speak of trying your best but not succeeding and being stuck in reverse.

It was the perfect anthem to describe the previous four seasons of an ice dance career in which the Shibutanis have succeeded at going forward once again.

The surprise world bronze medalists of 2011 became what seemed like almost predictable silver medalists behind Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France Thursday night at TD Garden, capping a comeback season in which the siblings from Michigan earlier won their first national and international titles.

"We have had an interesting journey," Maia Shibutani said.

Last year’s silver medalists, Madison Chock and Evan Bates, took the bronze to give the United States two ice dance medals at the same worlds for just the third time ever.

It also happened in 2011 (gold-bronze) and 1966 (silver-bronze.)

After a 20-year medal drought from 1985 until 2005, four different U.S dance teams have won medals in 10 of the last 12 seasons.  That includes two world titles (and the 2014 Olympic gold) by Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

The French team’s second straight world title also represented a comeback, as Papadakis still has headaches from the August concussion that nearly ruined her season.  It happened on a practice fall while doing footwork.

“It was two months before I was skating normally,” she said.  “I had big headaches and trouble focusing.  I still have headaches but nothing that bothers me on the ice.”

Papadakis and Cizeron won both the short and free dances for a comfortable winning margin of 6.01 points.  Chock and Bates were 2.66 behind the Shibutanis, the first ice dancers to win world medals five years apart.

"Our career has definitely been unique," Alex Shibutani said.  "We never thought about such a gap between medals.  We just kept putting one foot in front of the other."