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Thread: Shibutanis to attend state dinner in Washington for Prime Minister of Japan

  1. #16
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    ^ Thank you! I had to look Patrick Cronin up, but evidently he is a major policy wonk, specializing in defense strategies on the Pacific rim. Here is a white paper he wrote last month about the military and economic challenges faced by the U.S.A.-Japan alliance to keep a rising China in check.

    http://www.cnas.org/cronin

    Alex and Maia were probably assigned to his table. (I hope no one will think they are spies if they get Cup of China and NHK next season. )

  2. #17
    Celebrating the Excellence of #VirtueMoir golden411's Avatar
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    Mathman, thanks for the scoop on Mr. Cronin. Very cool for the Shibs to meet such a heavy hitter.

    And from the Japanese delegation, they made a distinguished new Twitter friend: the Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Affairs/Director of Global Communications at Prime Minister's Office of Japan.

    Alex Shibutani @AlexShibutani
    "@norishikata Thank you for introducing yourself to @MaiaShibutani and me at the dinner for PM Noda. It was very nice meeting you!"

    Noriyuki SHIKATA @norishikata
    ‏Great to see you at the dinner hosted by Sec. Clinton for PM Noda! I wish you both all the best! See you! RT @AlexShibutani @MaiaShibutani

  3. #18
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    In all seriousness, you never know what kind of opportunities might open up. What if some of these big government people decide they need a pair of charming, bright young people for some kind of goodwill outing?

    Let's see now, who could we tap...

    Noriyuki Shikata is somewhat well known in the U.S. as the principle spokesperson for the Japanese government during the tsunami/earthquake crises, at least in terms of keeping western news sources appraised of the developing situation.
    Last edited by Mathman; 05-04-2012 at 11:47 AM.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by golden411 View Post
    The Shibutanis looking great at the State Department dinner:
    http://twitter.com/#!/PMCroninCNAS/s...372800/photo/1

    (No sign of Sec. Clinton or the Japanese PM in this photo, unfortunately. I hope that Maia and Alex were able to meet and pose with them too.)
    These two are so photogenic, I don't think they've ever taken a bad picture!

  5. #20
    Celebrating the Excellence of #VirtueMoir golden411's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    In all seriousness, you never know what kind of opportunities might open up. What if some of these big government people decide they need a pair of charming, bright young people for some kind of goodwill outing?

    Let's see now, who could we tap...

    Noriyuki Shikata is somewhat well known in the U.S. as the principle spokesperson for the Japanese government during the tsunami/earthquake crises, at least in terms of keeping western news sources appraised of the developing situation.
    Yes, yes, I agree 100% that forming relationships at these levels could lead to additional exciting and important roles for the Shibs -- both during and after their on-ice career. I certainly hope so. Each of them would be an asset to any position, whether related to skating or otherwise. (And we'll be able to say that we "knew" them when ...)

    Mathman, thanks also for giving the context of Shikata's responsibilities last year. The connection had escaped me.
    I'm impressed that he is the one who introduced himself to the Shibs, and not the other way around.

  6. #21
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Shibs won the NHK GP competition this last year; a little factoid; they have been visible in Japan.

  7. #22
    Celebrating the Excellence of #VirtueMoir golden411's Avatar
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    The Shibs now have written at length (on IN) about their entire experience. Thoroughly enjoyable reading. They provided photos as well.

    Their inside look gives a vivid sense not only of the distinguished event, but also of the multifaceted Shibs themselves. For example, they spent the afternoon before the dinner reading up on US diplomacy and the Asia-Pacific region, but their narrative conveys a lot of high-spirited humor and lightheartedness as well as maturity and respectfulness.

  8. #23
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    It sounds like Dr. Cronin was pleased to take them under his wing a little.

    My fave: Alex: "At the end of the speeches, there was a toast. Having just turned 21 the week before, I was happy to raise my glass of white wine. People at our table smiled sweetly at Maia as she gamely did her best to improvise, holding up her tumbler of water with each toast."

  9. #24
    Always supporting skaters :) 100yen's Avatar
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    Maia is such a lovely writer! I knew Alex was chock-full of humor, but I had no idea Maia had such a gift for words as well

  10. #25
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    I love how skaters are becoming part of national diplomatic events!

  11. #26
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    I will love watching Maia and Alex continue on their journey. I loved watching the journey that Michelle went through from her triumphs and challenges, from her growth as a pony-tailed teenager to the young woman that so many admire. It will be a similar joy watching Maia and Alex progress, not just as skaters, but as people as well.

    Skating fans seem so quick to criticize them, especially after the unprecedented season they had last year. Even the conversation on this thread went so quickly to a guessing game about whether they were going to be switching countries in an opportunistic way. While I can understand the speculation, it seems a very narrow minded perspective. It seems to miss the important points entirely.

    There is significance behind their being recognized as athletes who could play positive roles, not just as skaters competing for country A or B, but also as Secretary Clinton said as "future leaders." I think it is great that someone from the skating world is even being noticed and is able to "represent".

    I enjoy watching Maia and Alex skate, but also Alex makes me laugh, and lovely Maia makes me smile. I also really appreciate that the chemistry between them is genuine.

    To me, they have become the kind of athletes that, regardless of whether they "win, lose or draw" it will not affect how much I will admire them as people. After a certain point, to be a loyal fan, to me it is about admiring and believing in the athletes' attitude and character as well. In this way especially, I am looking forward to watching Mana and Alex grow up before our eyes in the years to come.
    Last edited by Binthere; 05-08-2012 at 11:52 PM.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Binthere View Post
    I will love watching Maia and Alex continue on their journey. I loved watching the journey that Michelle went through from her triumphs and challenges, from her growth as a pony-tailed teenager to the young woman that so many admire. It will be a similar joy watching Maia and Alex progress, not just as skaters, but as people as well.

    Skating fans seem so quick to criticize them, especially after the unprecedented season they had last year. Even the conversation on this thread went so quickly to a guessing game about whether they were going to be switching countries in an opportunistic way. While I can understand the speculation, it seems a very narrow minded perspective. It seems to miss the important points entirely.

    There is significance behind their being recognized as athletes who could play positive roles, not just as skaters competing for country A or B, but also as Secretary Clinton said as "future leaders." I think it is great that someone from the skating world is even being noticed and is able to "represent".

    I enjoy watching Maia and Alex skate, but also Alex makes me laugh, and lovely Maia makes me smile. I also really appreciate that the chemistry between them is genuine.

    To me, they have become the kind of athletes that, regardless of whether they "win, lose or draw" it will not affect how much I will admire them as people. After a certain point, to be a loyal fan, to me it is about admiring and believing in the athletes' attitude and character as well. In this way especially, I am looking forward to watching Mana and Alex grow up before our eyes in the years to come.
    Beautiful post, and in total agreement with everything you said!!

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Binthere View Post
    I will love watching Maia and Alex continue on their journey. I loved watching the journey that Michelle went through from her triumphs and challenges, from her growth as a pony-tailed teenager to the young woman that so many admire. It will be a similar joy watching Maia and Alex progress, not just as skaters, but as people as well.

    Skating fans seem so quick to criticize them, especially after the unprecedented season they had last year. Even the conversation on this thread went so quickly to a guessing game about whether they were going to be switching countries in an opportunistic way. While I can understand the speculation, it seems a very narrow minded perspective. It seems to miss the important points entirely.

    There is significance behind their being recognized as athletes who could play positive roles, not just as skaters competing for country A or B, but also as Secretary Clinton said as "future leaders." I think it is great that someone from the skating world is even being noticed and is able to "represent".

    I enjoy watching Maia and Alex skate, but also Alex makes me laugh, and lovely Maia makes me smile. I also really appreciate that the chemistry between them is genuine.

    To me, they have become the kind of athletes that, regardless of whether they "win, lose or draw" it will not affect how much I will admire them as people. After a certain point, to be a loyal fan, to me it is about admiring and believing in the athletes' attitude and character as well. In this way especially, I am looking forward to watching Mana and Alex grow up before our eyes in the years to come.
    I too love this post! Thank you.

  14. #29
    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Binthere View Post
    I will love watching Maia and Alex continue on their journey. I loved watching the journey that Michelle went through from her triumphs and challenges, from her growth as a pony-tailed teenager to the young woman that so many admire. It will be a similar joy watching Maia and Alex progress, not just as skaters, but as people as well.

    Skating fans seem so quick to criticize them, especially after the unprecedented season they had last year. Even the conversation on this thread went so quickly to a guessing game about whether they were going to be switching countries in an opportunistic way. While I can understand the speculation, it seems a very narrow minded perspective. It seems to miss the important points entirely.

    There is significance behind their being recognized as athletes who could play positive roles, not just as skaters competing for country A or B, but also as Secretary Clinton said as "future leaders." I think it is great that someone from the skating world is even being noticed and is able to "represent".

    I enjoy watching Maia and Alex skate, but also Alex makes me laugh, and lovely Maia makes me smile. I also really appreciate that the chemistry between them is genuine.

    To me, they have become the kind of athletes that, regardless of whether they "win, lose or draw" it will not affect how much I will admire them as people. After a certain point, to be a loyal fan, to me it is about admiring and believing in the athletes' attitude and character as well. In this way especially, I am looking forward to watching Maia and Alex grow up before our eyes in the years to come.
    I couldn't have said it better! and respect the Shibs so much!

  15. #30
    Custom Title demarinis5's Avatar
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    Binthere you win the post of the week!

    Very well written article which was very humorous too. The bit about the lamb wrap was so funny, been there done that.
    Gorgeous photos.

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