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Benjamin Alexandro Agosto (born January 15, 1982, in Chicago, Illinois) is an American ice dancer. With partner Tanith Belbin, Agosto is the 2006 Olympic silver medalist, 2004–2006 Four Continents Champion, and 2004–2008 US National Champion.

Personal lifeEdit

Benjamin Agosto was born January 15, 1982, in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Northbrook, Illinois. He moved to Detroit, Michigan in June 1998 in order to train under Igor Shpilband. Agosto's mother is Jewish and his father is Puerto Rican. Agosto attended Glenbrook North High School for two years before moving to Michigan where he graduated with honors from Groves High School in June 2000. Agosto played in a high school jazz band and hopes to become a blues player someday. He is also a voice actor and has voiced characters in video games. Agosto also works as a skating coach.

Benjamin Agosto lived and trained in Canton, Michigan through the summer of 2008, when he moved to Pennsylvania to train.

CareerEdit

Benjamin Agosto started skating at age six, after receiving a pair of ice skates for his birthday. Early in his career, he was coached by Susie Wynne. He teamed up first with Katie Hill, skating with her on the novice and junior levels, including internationally. They skated out of Midwestern Section. When that partnership ended, Agosto moved from Chicago to Michigan in 1998 to train under Igor Shpilband, who teamed him up with his new partner.

In 1998, he was partnered with Tanith Belbin and the team immediately saw results on the junior level in the 1999–2000 season, their first competitive season, winning the junior national title as well as the bronze medal at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships. In their first year skating senior nationally, they placed second at Nationals, qualifying them for the senior Worlds team. Following that, Belbin and Agosto were sent to both Worlds and Junior Worlds every year they were age-eligible.

Belbin and Agosto qualified for the 2002 Winter Olympics with a second place finish at the United States Figure Skating Championships, but were ineligible to compete there because the Canadian-born Belbin was not an American citizen. Instead, Belbin and Agosto were sent to all the other ISU Championships for which they were eligible: Four Continents, Junior Worlds, and Worlds. They won 2002 World Junior Figure Skating Championships, completing their set of medals from that event. Following that season, Agosto aged out of juniors.

In 2004, Belbin and Agosto won the U.S. Championship and repeated four times. At Nationals in 2005, the last year of the 6.0 system, Belbin & Agosto earned straight perfect sixes for presentation in their free dance. Of the 30 6.0s given out in ice dance at US Nationals, Belbin & Agosto have 14 of them. Their 6.0 count is second only to Michelle Kwan's career 38 at nationals.

In February 2005, Belbin and Agosto organized and performed in their own figure skating benefit show, Skate Aid for Tsunami Relief, which raised more than $37,000 for Red Cross relief efforts.

Though they earned silver medals for the United States at the 2005 World Figure Skating Championships, Belbin and Agosto were originally ineligible to compete at the 2006 Winter Olympics as Belbin was not yet an American citizen. Their silver medal combined with the placement of the other American team earned the United States three spots to the Olympics in ice dance, the first time this had happened since 1984.

By a special act of Congress passed on December 28, 2005, which President Bush signed on New Year's Eve, 2005, Belbin became a naturalized citizen of the USA, making her able to compete for the United States at the 2006 Winter Olympics. Belbin and Agosto went on to win the Olympic silver medal in ice dance on February 20, 2006. They were the first American ice dance team since 1976, the first year ice dancing was contested at the Olympics, to win an Olympic medal.

Belbin & Agosto began the 2006–2007 season with a free dance called That's Entertainment. After receiving less-than-steller feedback on it, they scrapped the free dance and came to Nationals with a new program to the music of Amelie. With this free dance, they won Nationals, the silver medal at Four Continents, and the bronze at Worlds.

For the 2007–2008 season, Belbin and Agosto began with first place finishes at both Skate America and Cup of China which qualified them for the Grand Prix Final, where they placed second. They won their 5th national title and then placed 4th at the 2008 Worlds after a fall by Belbin in the Compulsory Dance.

Belbin and Agosto were regular cast members of the Champions on Ice tour from 2004 until COI went out of business following the 2007 season. They were guest stars on part of the 2008 Stars on Ice tour.

Following the 2007–2008 season, Belbin and Agosto left Igor Shpilband, who had coached them for their entire partnership, and began working with the married coaching team of Natalia Linichuk and Gennadi Karponossov in Aston, Pennsylvania.

Belbin and Agosto began the 2008-2009 season at the 2008 Skate America and 2008 Cup of China, winning silver at both competitions. They withdrew from the 2008-2009 ISU Grand Prix Final after the original dance due to a back injury to Agosto. They withdrew from the 2009 U.S. Figure Skating Championships before the event began to due Agosto's injury.

ProgramsEdit

Season Original Dance Free Dance Exhibition
2008-2009 Stepping Out
by John Kander and Fred Ebb
Tosca
by Giacomo Puccini
Falling Slowly
2007-2008 Appalachian Hoedown
Selections from Frederic Chopin
arranged by Joseph Le Duca
"Let's Get Loud"
by Jennifer Lopez
"SexyBack"/"My Love"
by Justin Timberlake
2006-2007 "Concierto Para Quinteto"
by Astor Piazzolla
Oblivion
by Astor Piazzolla
Overture from That's Entertainment!
Amélie (soundtrack) (soundtrack)
by Yann Thiersen
"Let's Get Loud"
by Jennifer Lopez
2005-2006 "Let's Get Loud"
by Jennifer Lopez
Bulenas
Jaleo
by Luis Winsberg
Duende
by Esteban
Green Acres
"American Woman (song)"
La Rosa
"Let's Get Loud"
by Jennifer Lopez
2004-2005 Charleston: Cabaret (musical)
Slow Foxtrot: "New York, New York"
Quickstep: Cabaret (musical)
Shadritsa
Edvin Marton's Russian Gypsy Dance
Green Acres
2003-2004 Jitterbug: 5 months, 2 weeks, 2 days
by Louis Prima
Blues: Give me Some Money Too
by Leni Hester
Swing: Hey Pachuco
by Royal Crown Revue
West Side Story
by Leonard Bernstein
Elvis Presley Medley
Green Acres
2002-2003 Waltz: La Traviata "Drinking Song"
by G. Verdi
Polka: Jolly Robbers
by Franz von Suppe

"Heartbreak Hotel", "Hound Dog",
"Jailhouse Rock" & "Teddy Bear"
by Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley Medley (modified FD)
2001-2002 The Mask of Zorro, A Los Amigos Sarajevo Oscar Tango
2000-2001 More, Girls Girls Girls Alexandros Un Vie d'Amour
1999-2000 The Four Seasons
by Vivaldi
Un Vie d'Amour

Competitive highlightsEdit

(with Belbin)

Post-2004Edit

Event 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009
Winter Olympic Games 2nd
World Championships 2nd 3rd 3rd 4th TBD
Four Continents Championships 1st 1st 2nd
U.S. Championships 1st 1st 1st 1st WD
Grand Prix Final 2nd WD 2nd WD
Skate America 1st 1st 1st 2nd
Cup of China 1st 2nd 1st 2nd
Cup of Russia 1st
Nebelhorn Trophy 1st
  • WD = Withdrew

Pre-2004Edit

Event 1999-2000 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004
World Championships 17th 13th 7th 5th
Four Continents Championships 2nd 2nd 1st
World Junior Championships 3rd 2nd 1st
U.S. Championships 1st J. 2nd 2nd 2nd 1st
Grand Prix Final 3rd
Skate America 5th 3rd 1st
Trophee Lalique 6th 3rd 4th
Cup of Russia 2nd
Goodwill Games 5th
Junior Grand Prix Final 4th 1st
Junior Grand Prix, Mexico 1st
Junior Grand Prix, Mexico 1st
Junior Grand Prix, Canada 1st
Junior Grand Prix, Canada 2nd
  • J = Junior level


(with Hill)

Event 1995–1996 1996–1997 1997–1998
U.S. Championships 8th N. 3rd N. 7th J.
Junior Grand Prix, Slovakia 10th
Junior Grand Prix, Slovakia 7th
Midwestern Sectionals 2nd J.
  • N = Novice level; J = Junior level

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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