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Benjamin Agosto – born to be a champion
 
Benjamin Alexandro Agosto was born in Chicago, Illinois, to the family of Angel Agosto, who is a Puerto Rican Catholic, and Miriam Agosto, who is Jewish, with grandparents who came to the United states from Romania and Russia.
 
Agosto started skating at age six, after receiving a pair of ice skates for his birthday, and began ice dancing at only 12. He skated with Katie Hill from 1995 to 1998, competing with her on the junior level, including internationally. 
 
Later he moved to Michigan in order to train under Igor Shpilband, who partnered him with Canadian Tanith Belbin. In the 1999–2000 season, they won a pair of medals on the ISU Junior Grand Prix series and finished 4th at the JGP Final. In 2001–2002, Belbin/Agosto made their senior Grand Prix debut and won another silver medal at the U.S. Championships, which would have qualified them for the 2002 Winter Olympics, had Belbin been an American citizen.
 
At the Nationals in 2005, the last year of the 6.0 system, they received straight perfect sixes for presentation in their free dance. Of the 30 6.0s given out in ice dance at U.S. Nationals, Belbin/Agosto won 14 of them, and are second only to Michelle Kwan (38).
 
Belbin/Agosto won the silver medal at the 2005 World Championships. Their silver medal earned the United States three spots to the Olympics in ice dance, the first time since 1984. By a special act of Congress that passed on December 28, 2005, which President Bush signed on New Year's Eve, 2005, Belbin became a US citizen, making her able to compete for the United States at the 2006 Winter Olympics. Belbin/Agosto went on to win the Olympic silver medal, the first American ice dance team since 1976 to win an Olympic medal.
 
On June 10, 2010, Belbin and Agosto announced their retirement from professional skating, but continued to tour with commercial ice shows..
 
Sources:
 "Tanith BELBIN / Benjamin AGOSTO: 2000/2001". International Skating Union.
 

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