Why wasn’t Shani Davis at the Opening Ceremony for the Winter Olympics in South Korea? We know that coming out of tonight’s long but at-times entertaining broadcast, that is one of the burning questions many people have.
The multi-time Olympic speed-skater had, even before the Winter Olympics began formally, been a subject of controversy over whether or not he would carry the flag during the Parade of Nations for the United States. There was apparently a tie vote between him and luger Erin Hamlin, and when Hamlin won said tie-breaker via coin-flip, he expressed his dissatisfaction on social media. He also brought up the subject of Black History Month as a reminder of his achievements as a black man in the sport. (Davis was the first black athlete to medal in an individual sport at the Winter Olympics.)
According to the Associated Press, Davis was absent because of training plans for the game, and it does not have anything to do with the flag-carrying controversy. He was planning to make a change to his schedule if he was selected to carry the flag, but that was it. Davis’ Twitter account is now locked, likely due to the firestorm of opinions that he has received across the board. We’ve seen many who are supportive of his plight, and then many others who stand firmly against some of his suggestions.
One way or another, the most important thing that Americans can do now is to do their best to try and focus on the events at hand — the Winter Olympics are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many of these athletes. They don’t get the opportunity to shine and have their moment in the sun across many other venues. This is their chance, and we certainly don’t want to see said chance snatched away from them by controversy they weren’t involved in. (With that being said, on the surface we probably would’ve voted for Davis if given a choice.)
What’s your take on this whole controversy at this point? Share some of your thoughts in the comments! Meanwhile, be sure to also like CarterMatt on Facebook in the event you want to get some more news when it comes to the Games. (Photo: Olympics.)