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Shibutanis Win Olympic Bronze
A golden, but challenging road Reaching this Herculean point in their careers was not exactly an easy feat for the Shibutanis, as the two had faced some challenges along the way, particularly at the World championship level as lead contenders several years ago. The duo, who maintain one of the most decorated competitive records of any U.S. dance team in contemporary skating history (scoring top honors at every U.S. Championships all the way from the Juvenile through the Senior rungs), reached a turning point during this time and decided to reconfigure and refresh their artistic strategy, a venture that turned out to be most effective. After scoring bronze in their first season at the senior (Championship) level at the 2011 Worlds, the Shibutanis experienced a slight drop in the World standings over the next two seasons, placing eighth at the 2012 Worlds and eighth at the 2013 Worlds. This slight change in their rankings, primarily due to the rocketing technical and artistic standard among all of the
skill of premiere world-class contenders. “Their programs made you want to get up and skate,” said Slavka Kohout Button, a U.S. Figure Skating and Professional Skaters Association Hall of Fame member who taught the Shibutanis in the Greenwich area when they were growing up. “These programs also ref lected their talent, skill and intelligence and showed the traveling and growt h t hey’ve experienced through their skating.” According to Button, a longtime Greenwich resident and skating coach based in the Fairfield and Westchester Count y reg ions, t he Shibutanis’ short and free dance programs were exceptional in all regards. “They were just terrific,” said Button, coach of Janet Lynn, the five-time U.S. titlist and 1972 Olympic bronze medalist. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani at the U.S. Championship in San Jose, Calif. That took place from Jan. 3 to 7. The Shibutanis competed at the 2018 Olympic Games and place third overall in the ice dancing competition. (photo courtesy of Jay Adeff / U.S. Figure Skating)
DOWNTOWN S Green Fingers Ga rden Club will present its “Preview of Spring 2018: The Color of Light,” Friday, March 2 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event takes place at Christ Church Parish Hall, 254 East Putnam Ave. and it is free to the public. S RSVP is required at Kayla_ Reasco@murphy.senate.gov for Fri., March 2 at 4:15 p.m. Senator Murphy will host a Roundtable Discussion on Gun Violence, where he will provide a Washington update on the issue. The event will be held at Greenwich Town Hall, 101 Field Point Rd. S Saturday, March 3, 9 to 11:30 a.m. Greenwich Council, Boy Scouts of America, will hold its annual 'Scouting for Food' drive to benefit Neighbor to Neighbor. Non-expired food items are needed, including: canned beans (not green), canned f ruit, tuna, boxed milk, pasta sauce, jelly, peanut butter and more, in non-bulk containers. Donations can be dropped off at: Glenville Vol. Fire Co., Cos Cob Vol. Fire Co., Sound Beach Vol. Fire Dept., and Christ Church. S Thursday, March 8, 4 to 6 p.m. In an effort to ensure that Greenwich residents are protected against this year’s dangerous flu season, Family Centers Health Care (FCHC) will hold a special f lu clinic, at its 111 Wilbur Peck Court location. No appointment is necessary and drop-ins are welcome. Residents interested in getting vaccinated before the March 8 f lu clinic can call 203-717-1760 to make an appointment. GREENWICH S The American Red Cross will be holding several blood drives and encourages eligible donors to join in its lifesaving mission by giving blood on: Friday, March 2, 11:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sacred Heart Greenwich; Monday, March 5, 1:30 - 6:30 p.m., Temple Sholom; Tuesday, March 6, 11 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Brunswick School. S Fr iday, Ma rch 2 , 6 : 30 p.m. Spend an eye-opening evening with the family at the documentary screening of Wasted, The Story of Food Waste , and panel discussion by local chefs and sustainability and community leaders, at the Performing Arts Center at Greenwich High School. I nc re a s e you r awa rene s s about food waste and develop strategies together to tackle this issue at school, at home and in our community. Doors open at 6. For more information, cont ac t 203 - 869 -924 2 or gecGYFF@gmail.com OLD GREENWICH S Sunday, March 4, 1:30 to 4 p.m. Writer, producer, and d i rec tor, Jacob Stei nberg will show highlights of his documentary, Return of the Osprey , a s wel l a s of fer a question-and-answer session at 1:45 and 2:50 p.m. Family f r iend ly ac t iv it ies on t he osprey theme will also take place from 1:30 to 4 p.m. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-413-6756. S Thurs, Mar 8, 7:30 p.m. Due to a resignation, District 6 RTM members will elect one new member in a special election, which will be held at First Congregational Church, 108 Sound Beach Ave. Interested candidates who are registered vot e r s i n Di s t r i c t 6 , c a n contact Candace Garthwaite at email@example.com for more information.
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Clean Up at Tod's Point
skating together in 2004. “This [free dance] program and everything we’ve been building on before [this point] has been for the Olympic Games,” said Alex in a pre- Olympics media teleconference call held in early February. “We know what we’re capable of and we’re looking to put the strongest performances of our season and our careers out at this competition.” C e r t a i n l y , t h e S h i b u t a n i s accomplished this mission in every sense of the word, as they performed two flawless programs for which they earned a combined total of 192.59, putting them in third among the 24-entry 2018 Olympic dance roster. Needless to say, the Shibutanis’ bronze medal finish seemed likely based upon an already banner 2017-18 season in which the two clinched silver at the 2018 U.S. Championships, in January, bronze at the International Skating Union Grand Prix Finals, in December, gold at the 2017 ISU Bridgestone Skate America Championships, in November, and first at the 2017 ISU Rostelecom Cup, in October. “[The Olympics] are obviously the competition we’ve been working for all season. Everything builds to this point,” said Alex. “You’re constantly working to fine-tune and max out your points.” Facing off against such formidable contenders as Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, the Canadians who clinched gold at this Olympics, first at the 2010 Olympics and second at the 2014 Olympics, and Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, the two-time French World Champions who scored silver in Pyeongchang, the Shibutanis performed at optimal level, executing their signature twizzles, lifts, edges, steps and turns with the expertise and
By Liz Leamy
M aia and Alex Shibutani, the decorated brother and sister dance duo who grew up in Old Greenwich, did their country and original hometown proud last week by scoring a coveted Olympic bronze medal in Pyeongchang. This powerhouse team, who are three-time World medalists (one silver, in 2016, and two bronze, in 2017 and 2011) and two-time U.S. titlists (in 2016 and 2017), skated two electric programs that catapulted them right to the third position on the leaderboard, designating them as the only 2018 U.S. Winter Olympic teammembers to wind up on a figure skating podium in Pyeongchang. This duo, who grew up skating at the Dorothy Hamill Rink in Greenwich and who, for the past 10-plus years, have been living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where they train with Marina Zoueva, the iconic World and Olympic coach, were thrilled at the prospect of bringing home Olympic bronze. “It feels like gold,” said Alex, 26, who attended Brunswick School growing up. “It’s unbelievable. I am so proud of how we fought through this week and the season, [and] I was really proud of how we skated today. We knew that regardless of what the result was going to be, we did everything that we could and have no regrets. We are really proud of each other, and the result was amazing.” For Alex and Maia, 23, who attended Greenwich Academy as a young girl, winding up on the Olympic podium was especially meaningful since it had been a goal they had been working toward ever since they first started O n November 20 la st yea r, S t a n w i c h S c h o o l a n d Greenwich Country Day School (GCDS) simultaneously announced something that many in the broader education community and the local school communities considered to be seismic news. "We have," reported GCDS in an email, “entered into an agreement in which GCDS will consolidate and assume all operations of The Stanwich School to open The Greenwich Country Day High School (grades 9-12).” The vote to approve this ambitious plan had unanimous support from the Board of Directors at GCDS “to create the premiere, coeducational, i ndependent h igh school i n t he country.” “I received hundreds of emails within four hours of the announcement from Brazil, Singapore, England, from alumni and friends saying, why didn’t you do this sooner?” said Adam Rohdie, Headmaster at GCDS for the past 14 years. Since its inception in 1926, GCDS has earned a reputation as a school that is anchored around the ability to enable
The cleanup of Greenwich Point took a surprising turn on Saturday, as BYOGreenwich, Greenwich Green & Clean, Greenwich Shellfish Commission and Greenwich Point Conservancy, as well as other organizations and a plethora of volunteers, spent a few hours cleaning. In that short duration of time, the amount cleaned was staggering. According to BYOGreenwich, who had the Connecticut chapter of Surfrider Foundation give estimates of the cleanup, a backhoe was needed to pick up the nearly two tons of garbage collected. The breakdown of trash collected was 150 aluminum cans, 200 balloons, 500 cigarette butts, 48 glass bottles, 400 plastic bottles, 1,500 plastic bottle caps, 1,000 plastic straws, 30 buoys, 10 pounds of fishing lines, 10 pounds of fishing nets, 15 pounds of fishing rope and much more. To read more on the cleanup, check out www.GreenwichSentinel.com on Friday. (John Ferris Robben photo).
Envisioning the Future of High School Education By Michelle Moskowitz
An artists rendering of the newWest Wing Commons, which will serve as a centerpiece of the new Greenwich Country Day High School scheduled to open in the fall of 2019.
genuine. Currently, GCDS goes up to ninth grade. Some ask, "Can that magic be reproduced in a high school experience?" Throughout its 91-year history, GCDS has had periodic discussions
about the idea of creating a high school, but nothing ever crystallized, until entering discussions with Stanwich School.
children to "discover and to develop what is finest in themselves." There seems to be somet hing real about the school’s reputation, a “magic” that parents, students, alumni and teachers report as being
See GCDS on Page 2
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