Saturday, February 25, 2006

Chad Hedrick and Shani Davis showed me something...

I caught myself watching the Olympics again last night (I must be a cold war kind of guy).

I was impressed to see Shani Davis down by the rail at cheering Chad Hedrick (who showed a ton of grit in the last 3 laps) skate to silver during the 10,000m (A 10k on skates!). Shani has taken his lumps, and as I said a couple of days ago (Does Shani Davis sound like a 2 time Olympic medal winner to you?), I think he deserved some of them. But coming out to cheer on Blackjack Chad shows that some true respect exists between the two competitors, a roller blader from Texas and an inner city kid from Chicago, are not exactly welcomed by the sports establishment.

I'm willing to bet that by the time they get to Vancouver 2010, Davis will have taken a few steps closer to the US fold, partly because the Olympic experience may make him want to be a part of the team, and I hope US Speedskating will welcome him more. To me, this complex rivalry has been one of the fascinating things about the Torino games.

***UPDATE: Blogger Christopher King points that Shani Davis has some good reasons for his guarded approach. (Has any other sport been impacted by more "outsiders" over the course of the last 4 years than speedskating?)


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