Born in Canada, Tanith Belbin began skating pairs and ice dancing with Liam Dougherty and Ben Barruco, respectively, although she never competed internationally with either skater. But in 1998 she began skating with Ben Agosto, an American ice dancer. The US-Canadian dance couple was eligible for all international competition except the Olympic Games. They were 2002 World Junior Champions and second that year at the US Senior Nationals. Their breakthrough season was 2003-04, when they won the US Championship, Skate America, and the Four Continents Championship. They defended all those titles in 2005 and 2006, and won the China Cup in 2005, and the Nebelhorn Trophy in 2006. At the World Championships, they were second in 2005 and third in 2006. Shortly before the 2006 Winter Olympics, via a special act of Congress signed in December 2005, Belbin was finally accorded US citizenship, making her eligible to compete for the United States in Torino, where she and Agosto won a silver medal, the highest ever placement for a US dance couple at the Olympic Winter Games. Since the 2006 season, they have continued competing internationally, winning the US Championships in 2007 and 2008, and the China Cup and Skate America in 2007, as well as placing second at the 2009 World Championship. They have also skated in ice shows, including Champions on Ice and Stars on Ice.
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