With the career span of athletes being so short, it’s rare that they’ll see the Olympics more than twice. But that narrative excludes Shani Davis, who’s set to appear in his fifth Olympics as a speed skater at the Pyeongchang Games.
Set to begin his run in China this February, Davis qualified for the Winter Games Wednesday and looks to continue to build on his legacy. Davis, who became the first Black athlete to win an individual gold medal in a Winter Olympics in the ’06 Torino games, finished in second place in the 1000 meter race at the Olympic trials in Wisconsin to ensure he’d make it to China. With a time of 1:09.23, he was only beat out by Joey Mantia with a time of 1:09.15.
Davis, 35, hinted that this may be his last Olympic appearance and promises to soak it all in this time around.
“(I) just wanted to get back there and be in the Olympic moment and get back to my best skating and go out and fight one more time,” Davis said. “I still feel like a big kid at heart, so I just try to enjoy the moment as much as I can,” Davis told NBC last year.
The Chicago native has qualified for five Olympics but this will only mark his third time competing in one. Back in 2002, there was a ton of controversy around his qualification because it was thought that friend Apollo Ohno had purposely lost a race so he and Davis could both qualify for the Salt Lake City games. There was an arbitration case where Ohno was found not guilty and cleared of any wrongdoing. David would go on to not compete in games, and even skipped town after the opening ceremony to compete in Italy.
Davis owns nine world records and four Olympic medals. We’ll look to see if he can earn even more before calling it quits.