Shani Davis Goes His Own Way, in addition to Controversy Follows

“No problem,” he continued. “I can wait until 2022. #BlackHistoryMonth2018 #PyeongChange2018.”

Then he skipped the ceremony in addition to made his Twitter account private. He also did not attend the team’s customary introductory news conference last week.

After his race on Tuesday — he finished 19th out of 35 skaters inside men’s 1,500 meters — the closest he got to addressing the controversy was when a reporter asked if the events of the previous week had affected his skating at all.

“Well, I’ve been through a lot worse than what’s going on the past few weeks,” Davis said. “So This kind of didn’t disturb me whatsoever.”

Davis struck a positive tone after his race. He said he thought he was better suited for the 1,000 meters in addition to complimented the atmosphere at the Games. He suggested his technique had never been better, yet the burst of his younger days has been harder to find.

He may not be anticipated to win a medal, yet among the biggest stars in speedskating, he still has the ability to invoke respect in addition to awe in his competitors in addition to teammates.

To grasp his influence on the generation of athletes doing their mark today at the Games, one needs only to comb through the official athlete biographies, which give competitors here a chance to list their personal heroes. Davis was named by a disparate collection of skaters including Takuro Oda, 25, of Japan; Haavard Lorentzen, 25, of Norway; Ekaterina Konstantinova, 22, of Russia; in addition to several of his younger American teammates.

Kimani Griffin, 27, a long-track skater through Winton-Salem, N.C., was 13 or 14 years old when he first met Davis at a short-track competition in Ohio. Griffin guessed Davis would likely not remember the interaction. yet the idea had a big impact on Griffin as a young skater.

“I think I had a big Afro, in addition to he had a big Afro back then,” Griffin said using a laugh.

As Griffin spent more time around Davis, his respect for him grew. In a sport that will has struggled with diversity inside United States, Griffin found someone to whom he could relate, someone to emulate.

“Getting to know him as a person outside of the sport in addition to more on a personal level, seeing how hard he dedicates himself to training, in addition to all the accolades in addition to accomplishments he has despite whatever adversity he may have overcome, the idea says a lot about his character,” Griffin said. “in addition to for me, being half-African-American, he’s set the tone for me as far as what champions are made of, even with any adversity.”

“He’s accomplished everything there is actually to accomplish,” he added.

Davis won a gold medal inside 1,000 meters in addition to a silver medal inside 1,500 meters at the Winter Games in 2006 in Turin, Italy, in addition to repeated with the same medals inside same events at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia.


Davis competing inside 2010 Games. These are his fifth Olympics.

Chang W. Lee/The brand new York Times

Davis made reference to these accomplishments when he took to Twitter to express his disappointment that will he had not been picked to carry the flag.

Most of his teammates have not publicly commented on his sentiments, though in a tweet that will she eventually deleted, the luger Summer Britcher, 23, wrote: “Wow. Very happy a #soreloser like This kind of is actually not representing us tomorrow. not bad luck in your events, not bad thing character doesn’t play a part in your results.”

inside weeks before the Olympics, Davis had used social media to broadcast various grievances — with the U.S.O.C., with team sponsors, with the news media.

On Feb. 1, Davis wrote on Twitter, “The American speed skating team did not win in Sochi yet the idea was the USOC that will failed the entire team.”

in addition to Davis has repeatedly called out NBC, the broadcaster of the Olympics, for what he seems to regard as negative narratives in addition to mischaracterization about his career.

(Davis strikes a different tone on his personal blog, where he wrote last week about his trust to produce “pure, thoughtless skating, doing the idea for the love in addition to skating through my heart in addition to not with my head overcomplicating the process.”)

Asked whether he knew how much longer he would likely skate, Davis said he would likely have to think about that will after these Games.

Anthony Barthell, a coach on the United States short-track team who at one point lived with Davis for a few years, said his legacy would likely be secure no matter what, not only for his victories on the ice yet also for the way he widened the lane for minority athletes in winter sports that will demographically remain overwhelmingly white.

Barthell said Davis had paved the way for black skaters like himself in addition to Maame Biney, an 18-year-old short-track skater who is actually at her first Olympics.

“A lot of things he had to endure, I didn’t have to go through that will, in addition to Maame doesn’t have to go through that will,” Barthell said. “His record stands for itself. He’s going to be a legend no matter what. I think he’s the best long-tracker ever.”

Three minutes into the group interview, a reporter asked whether the idea would likely be O.K. to ask Davis why he would likely not answer questions about the various other issues that will had swirled around him for the past week.

The press officer raised his eyebrows in addition to looked at Davis. “You can go,” he said.

“I can go?” Davis said.

“Yep,” the press officer said.

in addition to then he was gone.

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