Keepingitreal: Shani Davis wins gold in men's 1000 speedskating

With a furious kick on the final lap Wednesday, Shani Davis stuckhis skate across the line and won his second straight gold medal in1,000-meter Olympic speedskating.Four years ago at Turin, hebecame the first African-American athlete to win an individual gold atthe Winter Games. This time, he simply wanted to be known for hisskating. Period.”When you’re a world champion or an Olympicchampion, you get this little thing on your back called a target,” saidDavis, the first male skater to win this event a second time at theWinter Games. “To go out there and win the 1,000 meters twice is trulyamazing.”The Americans broke their medal drought at the RichmondOlympic Oval with a flourish, claiming not just one but two spots onthe podium. Chad Hedrick, who won three medals at the 2006 games, tooka surprising bronze after struggling to regain his motivation afterItaly.”I had to dig down deep and find my passion for speedskating again,” the Texan said.Davisswung both arms twice on the final backstretch, knowing he needed alittle more speed to catch South Korea’s Mo Tae-bum. the American foundjust enough, posting a time of 1 minute, 8.94 seconds.Mo, who won gold in the 500 two days ago, settled for silver this time, 18-hundreths behind Davis. Hedrick was next in 1:09.32.”Thoselast 200, 300 meters were very difficult,” Davis said. “I was justtrying to carry my speed. I could feel it leaving me. it doesn’t matterwhat it looks like, just as long as you get across the line as quick asyou could.”Davis pumped his fist in the air and slapped handswith the U.S. coaches on the backstretch. then, as he coasted aroundnear the finish line, Hedrick skated over to shake his hand firmly andpat him on the back several times.Four years ago, theiraccomplishments in Italy — Davis won a gold and silver; Hedrick a medalof each color — were overshadowed by a nasty feud stemming from theteam pursuit.Davis wanted to stick with his individual events, adecision that peeved Hedrick, who believed it cost the Americans a shotat a medal.Their animosity boiled over at a news conferenceafter the 1,500, in which Davis finished second and Hedrick third.Hedrick brought up the team pursuit, and Davis stormed out of the roomcomplaining that Hedrick didn’t congratulate him on his gold, only thesilver. CONTINUE READING…

Keepingitreal: Shani Davis wins gold in men’s 1000 speedskating

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