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Shani Davis

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 2
Bronze 0
Total 4
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameShani Earl•Davis
Used nameShani•Davis
Born13 August 1982 in Chicago, Illinois (USA)
Measurements188 cm / 86 kg
AffiliationsNMU Wildcats, Marquette (USA)
NOC(s) United States

Biography

Shani Davis started roller skating as a child, then turned to speed skating, but was unusual as he competed in both short-track and long-track competition. In 1999, he made the US speed skating team in both disciplines. Davis is also unusual as the first world-class speed skater of African-American heritage. In long track, Davis competed at the World Junior Championships in 2000-02, winning the 1,500 metre race in 2002. He attempted to make the US Winter Olympic team in 2002 in both disciplines, with his best chance figured to be in short-track. But he failed in that attempt, although there was some controversy in the final qualifying race, the 1,000. Davis won the race, which seemingly qualified him for the team but it was rumored that Apollo Anton Ohno, who was dominant among US short-trackers, and who was friendly with Davis, had thrown the race, allowing Davis to qualify for the Olympic team. Eventually Davis made the team but withdrew to compete in the World Junior Long-Track Championships.

Between 2002 and 2006, Davis concentrated on long-track and became one of the best skaters in the world. But he continued to compete in short-track winning a gold medal at the 2005 World Championships in the relay. In 2004 Davis was second at the World Allround Championship to US skater Chad Hedrick, but Davis then won that title in 2005 and 2006, and set a samalog world record of 149.359 in January 2005. Going into the Torino Winter Olympics, Hedrick and Davis were considered possibles for gold medals at every distance from 1,000 to 10,000 metres, with Davis better at the shorter distances. Davis won his gold medal in the 1,000, and a silver in the 1,500, but there was controversy in the team pursuit when Davis withdrew to concentrate on his individual 1,000 metre race. Without him, the US team struggled and placed only sixth.

After Torino, Shani Davis improved, topping the Adelskalender in 2007 and was still atop that list approaching the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. In 2009 he won the World Sprint Championship, making him only the second skater, including Eric Heiden, to win both the World Sprint and World Allround Championships. He was favored in Vancouver in the 1,000 and 1,500 metres. Although he defended his title in the 1,000, he was upset in the 1,500 and settled for a silver medal.

Personal Bests: 500 – 34.78 (2009); 1000 – 1:06.42 (2009); 1500 – 1:41.80 (2009); 3000 – 3:47.03 (2009); 5000 – 6:10.49 (2006); 10000 – 13:05.94 (2006); Sprint Combination – 139.560 (2009); Allround Samalog – 145.742 (2006).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
2006 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) 1,000 metres, Men Olympic 1 Gold Representing United States    
  1,500 metres, Men Olympic 2 Silver
  5,000 metres, Men Olympic 7
2010 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) 500 metres, Men Olympic AC Representing United States    
  1,000 metres, Men Olympic 1 Gold
  1,500 metres, Men Olympic 2 Silver
  5,000 metres, Men Olympic 12
2014 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) 500 metres, Men Olympic 24 Representing United States    
  1,000 metres, Men Olympic 8
  1,500 metres, Men Olympic 11
  Team Pursuit (8 laps), Men Olympic United States 7
2018 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) 1,000 metres, Men Olympic 7 Representing United States    
  1,500 metres, Men Olympic 19

Special Notes