Davis had the opportunity to tie Eric Heiden's Lake Placid record of five gold in five events, but the record was unlikely. Heiden was the rare skater who excelled in both long distance and sprint events. Though Davis is one of the best skaters of his time, Heiden was one of the best of all time.
Making this change is a smart move for Davis, who has his best shots at gold in the 1,000 and 1,500 meter races. Those are the two races Davis holds world records in. Guy Thibault, an official with U.S. Speedskating, said the move by Davis is not a surprise.
He didn't want to close any doors, so he could see how things were going in training, before he decided he needs to cut one. Looking realistically at his chances of doing good in that distance, he didn't really feel it was essential to skate it.
Though Davis is improving a shot at gold, it will strip the Olympics of some drama. Heiden's feat is not likely to be duplicated anytime soon, and Davis was the American who could come closest to it.
- Shani Davis
- Eric Heiden
- Michael Phelps