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Sport: Speed skating
Medal(s): Silver in 1500m (2006, 2010); Gold in 1000m (2006, 2010)
At only two years old, Shani Davis already learned how to roller skate. One year later, Davis was already exhibiting the type of speed on the ice that would eventually make him an Olympic champion. When he was six, Shani was enrolled in the Robert Crown Center in Evanstown, Ill., which specializes in helping youngsters improve their speed skating ability.
At 16, Shani was now determined to make his Olympic dreams a reality. So, he moved to Marquette, Mich. where he worked towards improving his abilities while also earned a diploma from Marquette Senior High School.
While Davis is going for unprecedented a gold medal in the same individual event (1000m) for a third consecutive, we would be remiss to not point out the controversy surrounding the U.S. Trials which prevented Davis from competing in the 2002 Winter Olympics. With Apollo Ohno and Rusty Smith already guaranteed spots on the final team, Shani needed to come in first which meant defeating Smith and Ohno as well. Shani did just that, but fellow U.S. speed skater Tommy O'Hare filed a complaint, claiming that Ohno and Smith held back in order to have their Davis on the team. The whole situation caused too many problems and Davis left shortly after the Opening Ceremony.
While he walked away with no medals in 2002, Davis more than made up for it by winning gold and silver medals in the 1000m and 1500m comeptitions in 2006 and 2010.