SOCHI, Russia — As the last rites were performed on the dismal U.S. long-track speedskating team's hopes for a medal — any medal — Shani Davis summed it up the best.
"It was horrible," he said.
Friday's pair of defeats for the men's and women's 3000-meter pursuit teams at the Adler Arena meant that in long track the U.S. will return home empty-handed, making lofty pre-Games predictions of as many as 10 medals look depressingly ludicrous.
Disappointment and resentment have been the chief themes for the program that has been a bigger letdown than any other for the U.S. Olympic team. For Davis, the four-time Winter Games medalist and a legend in the sport, his emotions mixed annoyance with gallows humor.
"That's an understatement," he said when asked if this Olympics had been the low point for American speedskating. "We came in being one of the most decorated disciplines in the Winter Olympics, and we come away with zero medals.
"We have to destroy and rebuild. It's got to start from ground zero, and we've got to build up again. I wanted nothing more than to have success here again to close my career as a speedskater, but it didn't happen. It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth knowing I put a lot of work into it, and I didn't get anything out of it."
This is quite likely the end of any Olympics for Davis, who won 1000-meter golds in 2006 and 2010. However, he is not prepared to pull the plug on his speedskating career just yet. He will wait a few months before making that decision.
If he does come back for the Pyeongchang Games in 2018, it will only be if he is certain that a disaster like this cannot happen again. Davis finished 28th in the 500, eighth in the 1000, and 11th in the 1500. He was part of a team torn apart by inner turmoil and caught up in a farcical controversy over their racing suits.
The U.S. still has two pursuit races to go but only to sort out the final standings. The men will take on France in the "D" final for seventh place, while the women's squad takes on Canada for fifth on Saturday.
Don't expect to see Davis anymore, though. Asked if this was his last race of the Games, he couldn't hold it in any longer.
"I hope so," he chuckled, unable to suppress the ironic laughter while doubled up with his hands on his knees and shaking his head.
Expect Joey Mantia to step in alongside Brian Hansen and Jonathan Kuck for the team's second and final trip to the ice.
The U.S. loss to defending Olympic champion Canada by 3.52 seconds in the 3000-meters opening round was followed soon after by the women's team being blown out by the Netherlands by 3.60.
[Photos: Quiz: Olympic move or wrestling move?]
Despite Davis' presence in the team event for the first time in his Olympic career, the Americans were no match for the Canadians, who were spearheaded by double Sochi medalist Denny Morrison. Realistically, the U.S. women never had a shot against the star-studded team from the Netherlands, the nation that has utterly dominated the long-track events in winning 21 medals. Brittany Bowe, Heather Richardson and Jilleanne Rookard turned in a decent performance but simply could not match the firepower of the Dutch, who broke the Olympic record in a time of 2:58:61.
"I'm not going to lie," Rookard said. "I was a little bummed to say the least that we were paired with the Dutch. They have just been dominating."
The Americans ironically celebrated afterward, as their time meant the worst position they can finish is sixth.
"We were like, 'Yeah, best performance of the Olympics so far,'" Rookard said. "I don't know whether to laugh or cry."
More Winter Olympics coverage on Yahoo Sports: