A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Shani Davis Legend Grows
SHANI DAVIS LEGEND GROWS
Well it is Winter
when ice skating is the Sport
of choice for some
no one more than
Olympic Champ Shani Davis
Let’s cut to this Chase. Shani Davis just won his FOURTH consecutive U.S. All Around Long Track Speed Skating Championship. As well as being the current All Around World Champion. Shani Davis has certainly come a long way from the mean streets of Chicago. Where skating on thin ice is a way of life.
At these U.S. championships in Wild West Allis, Wisconsin, Davis was up against his nemesis Bad Boy Chad Hendrick who if you remember Davis took to the cleaners at the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy early in 2006. In Wisconsin Davis beat Hendrick in the 500 meter and the 5000 meter although Hendrick did beat Davis in the 10,000 meter in Wisconsin but to no avail as Davis’ point total left no doubt that Davis not Hendrick is once again the U.S. Champ.
Back at the Olympics early this year
While Hendrick was blasting Davis in Torino for not racing in a team competition Davis had never even trained for and which would have destroyed his Olympic training schedule – Davis went on to clean Hendrick’s clock by winning Gold in the 1000 meter and Silver in the 1500 meter.
Here is how Davis explained his success back in February. “”Things were not easy for me. And I just kept on fighting because I knew deep down inside that I was a good skater, I just wanted to be one of the best skaters and now I am happy that I can have that title on my name – you know – Olympic champion. That is a great thing.” It sure is. To be the very first African American to ever win an individual Gold in the Winter Olympics.
Now at all of 24 the question becomes for how much longer will Shani Davis want to compete on the ice. Will he try repeating his Feat at 28 at the 2010 Winter Olympics. The answer is NO if you believe his statement on his Website where Davis states he will retire after the 2007-2008 season. To continue his education and finish college. A noble decision.
As to whether Shani Davis intends to serve as a role model for other African Americans urging them to look at and take up winter sports. To dream of the Winter Olympics it is hard to say because ………
……. he isn’t. But both Davis and Vonetta Flowers the only other African American to win Gold at the Winter Olympics – she in 2 women bobsled in 2002 in Salt Lake City – between them have a POWERFUL message to deliver.
There are 1148 days until the next Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, Plenty of time for a campaign to begin to leverage the value of Shani Davis’ and Vonetta Flowers’ successes. Or instead both might slip into sports obscurity as footnotes to Winter Olympic history and not become the heralds for a new dawn of Black involvement in Winter Sports.
We may wait for many Winter Olympics
to come for more Black Gold
without role models like
Davis & Flowers
We will know
1148 days to the
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