Benjamin Agosto

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Benjamin Agosto
Portrait of Benjamin Agosto 2023
Full nameBenjamin Alexandro Agosto
Born (1982-01-15) January 15, 1982 (age 42)
Chicago, Illinois
Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Figure skating career
CountryUnited States
PartnerTanith Belbin
Skating clubArctic FSC
Began skating1989
RetiredJune 2010

Benjamin Alexandro "Ben" Agosto (born January 15, 1982) is an American ice dancer. With partner Tanith Belbin, Agosto is the 2006 Olympic silver medalist, a four-time World medalist, the 2004–2006 Four Continents champion, and 2004–2008 U.S. champion.

Personal life[edit]

Benjamin Agosto was born January 15, 1982, in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in Northbrook, Illinois. He is the son of a Puerto Rican father and a Jewish mother whose family have roots in Romania and Russia.[1][2][3] Agosto attended grade school at the Chicago Waldorf School, then spent two years at Glenbrook North High School, and graduated with honors from Michigan's Groves High School in June 2000. He played in a high school jazz band.

Agosto lived in Detroit, Michigan, from June 1998 and then Canton, Michigan, before moving to Aston, Pennsylvania, in the summer of 2008. He relocated to Lacey, Washington, in September 2010[4] and then to Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2014.[5]


Early years[edit]

Agosto started skating at age six, after receiving a pair of ice skates for his birthday, and started ice dancing at about age 12.[2] Early in his career, he was coached by Susie Wynne.[2] He skated with Katie Hill from 1995 to 1998,[6] competing 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 in order to train under Igor Shpilband.

Partnership with Belbin[edit]

In 1998, Agosto's coach 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. They went on to win the U.S. junior national title and then took the bronze medal at the 2000 World Junior Championships.[7] In 2000–2001, Belbin/Agosto competed again on the JGP series, taking gold in all three of their events including the Final. They appeared on the senior level at the 2001 U.S. Championships and won the silver medal, qualifying them for their first senior World Championships, where they finished 17th.

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 if Belbin had been an American citizen. Instead, Belbin/Agosto were sent to all the other ISU Championships for which they were eligible: Four Continents, Junior Worlds, and Worlds. They won the 2002 World Junior Championships,[7] completing their set of medals from that event. Following that season, Agosto aged out of juniors.

Belbin/Agosto won the 2004 U.S. national title and would go on to repeat four times. At 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 have 14 of them. Their total 6.0 count at the U.S. Championships is second only to Michelle Kwan (38).

In February 2005, Belbin/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.

Belbin/Agosto won the silver medal at the 2005 World Championships. 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 that passed on December 28, 2005, which President Bush signed on New Year's Eve, 2005, Belbin became a naturalized citizen of the US, making her able to compete for the United States at the 2006 Winter Olympics. Belbin/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 but arrived at Nationals with a new program to the music of Amelie. They won gold at Nationals, the silver medal at Four Continents, and the bronze at Worlds.

In 2007–2008, they won gold medals at both Skate America and Cup of China which qualified them for the Grand Prix Final, where they took the silver medal. They won their 5th national title and then placed 4th at the 2008 Worlds after a fall by Belbin in the compulsory dance. Belbin/Agosto were regular cast members of the Champions on Ice tour from 2004 until COI went out of business following the 2007 season.[citation needed] They were guest stars on part of the 2008 Stars on Ice tour.[citation needed]

In April 2008,[8] Belbin/Agosto left Igor Shpilband and began working with the married coaching team of Natalia Linichuk and Gennadi Karponosov at the Ice Works Skating Complex in Aston, Pennsylvania.[9] In addition to teaching different technique,[8] Linichuk advised Belbin to gain 10 pounds and develop some muscles in order to skate faster and more fluidly.[9] This also gave Belbin more core strength to hold her positions better, thus making lifts easier for Agosto.[9]

Belbin/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. Championships before the event began to due Agosto's injury.[10] They were named to the team to the 2009 World Championships. At Worlds, they won the original dance and placed second in the compulsory and free dances to win the silver medal overall.

Belbin/Agosto won both their Grand Prix events in the 2009-10 season: the 2009 Cup of China and the 2009 Skate America. They withdrew from the Grand Prix Final for medical reasons.[11] At the 2010 U.S. Championships, they were unable to reclaim their national title, finishing second behind Meryl Davis and Charlie White. Belbin/Agosto were nominated to represent the United States at the 2010 Winter Olympics.[12] They finished 4th in the Olympic ice dancing event. They did not compete at the 2010 World Championships.

On June 10, 2010, Belbin and Agosto announced their retirement from eligible skating.[13] Since then they have toured professionally in ice shows.[14]

On December 15, 2015, U.S. Figure Skating announced Belbin and Agosto would be members of the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame Class of 2016.[15] The induction ceremony was held on January 22, 2016, at the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.[16]

Later career[edit]

Agosto works as a coach and choreographer.[4] He has choreographed for three Disney on Ice shows and in 2014, he became the director of ice dance at the Ice Den in Scottsdale, Arizona.[5]

Also Agosto worked as a voice actor for a video game in 2006, and expressed an interest in continuing in the field.[17] He has performed on television as a spokesperson for the United States Census.[18]


(with Belbin)

Season Original dance Free dance Exhibition
Moldavian folk dance:
  • Moldovaneska

  • Cotton Eyed Joe
  • Country Waltz
  • Appalachian Hoedown
    by Bluegrass


  • Let's Get Loud
    by Jennifer Lopez
  • Bulenas
  • Jaleo
    by Luis Winsberg
  • Duende
    by Esteban

  • La Rosa

  • Let's Get Loud
    by Jennifer Lopez
Russian gypsy dance:
  • Shadritsa

  • Green Acres
  • Elvis Presley medley
    (modified FD)
  • Oscar Tango
  • Alexandros
    by Staminis Spanudikis
  • Une Vie d'Amour
  • Une Vie d'Amour

Competitive highlights[edit]

With Belbin[edit]

Event 1999–00 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03 2003–04 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10
Olympics 2nd 4th
Worlds 17th 13th 7th 5th 2nd 3rd 3rd 4th 2nd
Four Continents 2nd 2nd 1st 1st 1st 2nd
Grand Prix Final 3rd 2nd WD 2nd WD WD
GP Cup of China 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st
GP Cup of Russia 2nd 1st
GP Lalique 6th 3rd 4th
GP Skate America 5th 3rd 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 1st
Goodwill Games 5th
Nebelhorn 1st
International: Junior
Junior Worlds 3rd 2nd 1st
JGP Final 4th 1st
JGP Canada 1st
JGP Germany 1st
JGP Japan 2nd
JGP Mexico 1st
U.S. Champ. 1st J. 2nd 2nd 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st WD 2nd
Team events
World Team 1T / 1P
GP = Grand Prix; JGP = Junior Grand Prix; J. = Junior level; WD = Withdrew; T = Team result; P = Personal result; Medals awarded for team result only.

With Hill[edit]

Event 1997–1998
JS Bulgaria 7th
JS Slovakia 10th
U.S. Championships 7th J.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jewish Stars". Cleveland Jewish News. February 12, 2010. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c "Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto: Online Interview". April 28, 2003. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
  3. ^ Bloom, Nate (February 16, 2006). "The Tribe goes to Torino: Sketches of Jewish Olympic-Bound Athletes". Jewish World Review. Retrieved April 11, 2008.
  4. ^ a b Brannen, Sarah S.; Meekins, Drew (May 23, 2012). "The Inside Edge: Sarah, Drew (try to) go hip-hop". IceNetwork. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  5. ^ a b Brannen, Sarah S.; Meekins, Drew (June 2, 2014). "The Inside Edge: 'Frozen' makes natural move to ice". IceNetwork. Archived from the original on June 16, 2014. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Tanith BELBIN / Benjamin AGOSTO: 2000/2001". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 20, 2001.
  7. ^ a b "World Junior Figure Skating Championships: ISU Results: Dance" (PDF). International Skating Union. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-04.
  8. ^ a b Mittan, Barry (February 20, 2010). "Last Hurrah for Belbin and Agosto". Skate Today.
  9. ^ a b c Macur, Juliet (February 16, 2010). "New Muscles and Pounds Boost an American Ice Dancer's Outlook". The New York Times. Retrieved December 22, 2010.
  10. ^ "Injury forces Belbin and Agosto to withdraw from 2009 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships". U.S. Figure Skating. January 8, 2009. Archived from the original on October 20, 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  11. ^ "Belbin, Agosto withdraw from Grand Prix Final". Icenetwork. November 24, 2009. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  12. ^ "U.S. Figure Skating Announces Ladies, Ice Dancing Teams Nominated to 2010 U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team". U.S. Figure Skating. January 23, 2010. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
  13. ^ "2006 Olympic Silver Medalist Ice Dancers Belbin and Agosto Announce Retirement from Competitive Figure Skating". U.S. Figure Skating. June 10, 2010. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  14. ^ "Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto: Life after retiring (video)". Life Skate. July 10, 2010. Archived from the original on July 21, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  15. ^ "Lysacek, Cohen lead five-member U.S. HOF class; Trailblazing ice dancers Belbin and Agosto, coach Lussi also elected" (Press release). U.S. Figure Skating. December 25, 2015. Archived from the original on January 24, 2016. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  16. ^ Rosewater, Amy (January 23, 2016). "Decorated U.S. skaters honored with HOF induction". IceNetwork. Archived from the original on January 25, 2016. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  17. ^ Penny, Brandon (December 3, 2010). "Belbin and Agosto takes a bow". Team USA. Archived from the original on February 6, 2011.
  18. ^ Census
  19. ^ "Tanith BELBIN / Benjamin AGOSTO: 2009/2010". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 24, 2013.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h "Tanith Belbin / Benjamin Agosto". IceNetwork. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011.
  21. ^ "Tanith BELBIN / Benjamin AGOSTO: 2008/2009". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 6, 2009.
  22. ^ "Tanith BELBIN / Benjamin AGOSTO: 2007/2008". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on May 14, 2008.
  23. ^ "Tanith BELBIN / Benjamin AGOSTO: 2006/2007". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 9, 2007.
  24. ^ "Tanith BELBIN / Benjamin AGOSTO: 2006/2007". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on December 15, 2006.
  25. ^ "Tanith BELBIN / Benjamin AGOSTO: 2005/2006". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on April 27, 2006.
  26. ^ "Tanith BELBIN / Benjamin AGOSTO: 2004/2005". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on May 20, 2005.
  27. ^ "Tanith BELBIN / Benjamin AGOSTO: 2003/2004". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 3, 2004.
  28. ^ "Tanith BELBIN / Benjamin AGOSTO: 2002/2003". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 18, 2003.
  29. ^ "Tanith BELBIN / Benjamin AGOSTO: 2001/2002". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 2, 2002.
  30. ^ "Competition Results: Tanith BELBIN / Benjamin AGOSTO". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 24, 2013.

External links[edit]