2018 Winter Olympics: Who is Shani Davis?


Shani Davis began the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics with some controversy when he sat out of the opening ceremony. According to The Associated Press, Davis lost a coin flip to carry the U.S. flag at the ceremony. The coin flip followed a tied 4-4 vote among fellow Team USA athletes, who voted between Davis and luger Erin Hamlin. Hamilin won the toss.

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The speedskater reacted to the results on his Twitter page that has since been made private.

“I am an American and when I won the 1000m in 2010 I became the first American to 2-peat in that event. @TeamUSA dishonorably tossed a coin to decide its 2018 flag bearer. No problem. I can wait until 2022,” Davis tweeted, according to CNN. He included the hashtags 

#BlackHistoryMonth2018 and #PyeongChang2018 in his tweet.

Related: Shani Davis rips coin flip to determine US flag bearer at Olympics

“He was not planning to march in the first place, but he reconsidered when he was faced with the possibility of being the flagbearer,” a U.S. speedskating team spokesman told CNN.

Davis has not spoken to reporters after his training session Saturday, according to The AP.

Tweets aside, Davis, who is competing in the 1500m and 1000m in Pyeongchang, is already a four-time Olympian.

About Davis

Davis made his first Olympic team in 2002, joining the short-track team as an alternate, but he didn’t race. Born in Chicago, the 35 yea-old learned how to roller skate when he was 2. He did compete in the 2006 Torino games, where he made his official debute and won the 1000m gold. The win made him the first black athlete from any country to win an individual gold medal at the Winter Games. He also won the 1500m silver.

In the 2010 games, Davis repeated his wins, taking home gold in the 1000m and silver in the 1500m. After a lack luster 2014 appearance, Davis hopes to have a good run at the 2018 Olympics, which he has said will likely be his last.

Other interesting facts:

  • Set world record in 1000m in 2009
  • Likes to play “World of Warcraft” when not training or competing


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