Skating siblings share a long history of success. Most recently, the ice dancing pair of Alex and Maia Shibutani, the U.S. brother and sister affectionately dubbed the “Shib Sibs,” warmed the world with their 2014 Olympic debut in Socchi. Whether on a rink of ice or wood, siblings of all ages can enjoy the physical and emotional benefits of skating together.
When step-sisters Lexi and Laney first met two years ago, they may have been naturally uncertain about the other. But the girls soon realized there was an undeniable love they could share: figure roller skating.
“It’s bonding time for them,” says Donna Edwards, Lexi’s mom.
Edwards takes turns with Laney’s mom, Mallory Rosado, carpooling the girls to and fromSemoran Skateway for their Skating School lessons and public skate sessions. The sisters skate together three days every week.
“I like it because we get to hang out together at the rink,” says 11-year-old Laney. “We have so much fun.”
Big sister Lexi, 15, concurs. “It’s just cool because we’re doing something we both like. We don’t always agree on everything, but we work it out.”
Figure skating is filled with charming stories of siblings skating together. From a young Michelle Kwan first following her big sister Karen onto the ice, to the world-class roller skating brother-sister duo of Grant and Audrey Schnell, strong family ties can have a powerful, motivating effect on skaters. And vice versa: skating can influence family ties, especially between siblings.
Mom Michelle Cetto believes her sons, ages 13 and 11, get along much better since they started with Skating School. “They get a huge sense of camaraderie when they skate together.”
Her boys, Gabe and Adrian, practice up to eight hours a week. As a result, Cetto also credits roller skating with dramatic changes in Gabe’s autism.
“He doesn’t need the physical and occupational therapy now. The skating has helped build his concentration tremendously.”
“They still compete against each other like brothers do,” says Cetto. “But because they have to work as a team, roller skating together has helped them learn how to support each other.”