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Olympian Shani Davis Felt Disrespected By Coin Toss Decision for Flag Bearer Role; Skips Opening Ceremony In Return

Shani Davis

U.S. gold medalist and speed-skater Shani Davis chose not to attend the opening ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang County, South Korea on Friday (Feb.9) due to being spurned of the role as flag bearer.

A spokesman for Team USA told NBC that Davis had initially planned to march, but he reconsidered after the whole ordeal.

On Thursday the Olympian athlete took to Twitter to express his indignation towards the U.S. Olympic Committee for conducting a “dishonorable” coin toss between him and luger Erin Hamlin, losing after a tie of 4-4 vote among the eight U.S. winter sports federations.

He tweeted, “I am an American and when I won the 1000m in 2010 I became the first American to 2-peat in that event,” Davis posted to his verified Twitter account on Thursday. “@TeamUSA dishonorably tossed a coin to decide its 2018 flag bearer. No problem. I can wait until 2022”, with the hashtag #BlackHistoryMonth2018 indicating racial bias.

Shani Davis

Davis is known as one of the most successful American speed-skaters and the first Black athlete to win an individual gold medal in 2006 at a Winter’s Olympics. He is a five-time winning athlete compared to bronze medalist Hamlin.

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