Shani Davis skips Opening Ceremony, protects Twitter account after not being selected flag bearer

Yahoo Sports

U.S. speed skater Shani Davis did not walk with his teammates in Friday’s Olympic Opening Ceremony in PyeongChang.

Why he was absent is not clear.

Davis, a four-time Olympic medalist competing in his fourth Winter Games, was upset after not being chosen as Team USA’s flag-bearer. He lost a coin flip after a vote on the flag bearer was left at a 4-4 tie between him and luger Erin Hamlin.

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He tweeted the following on Thursday in response to losing the coin flip.

“I am an American and when I won the 1000m in 2010 I became the first American to 2-peat in that event. @TeamUSA dishonorably tossed a coin to decide its 2018 flag bearer. No problem. I can wait until 2022. #BlackHistoryMonth2018 #PyeongChang2018

Shani Davis has shut himself off from the public since tweeting about the U.S. flag-bearer. (AP)
Shani Davis has shut himself off from the public since tweeting about the U.S. flag-bearer. (AP)

While Hamlin led the U.S. athlete delegation into PyeongChang Olympic Stadium Friday, Davis was nowhere to be found.

Davis did not provide an explanation, but tweeted the following after the ceremony.

”It has been such an honor to have represented the greatest, most diverse country in the world at the last five Winter Games during the same month as #blackhistorymonth #goTeamUSA Watch ‘Origins of Black History Month.”’

By now, you’re probably wondering why we’re writing his tweets out rather than just embedding them. Well, Davis has made his account private. His tweets are now protected and not available to the public.

He also skipped a chance to speak with reporters on Saturday for a second straight day, failing to provide an explanation for why he missed the Opening Ceremony or what role he believes race may have played in his not being selected flag-bearer.

A team spokesman told Reuters that Davis missed the Opening Ceremony to focus on preparation for his upcoming competition and never considered attending unless he was flag-bearer.

“It was never part of his plans,” the spokesman said. “He is fully focused on his first race and is concentrating on that.”

Davis is racing in the 1,500 meters on Tuesday and the 1,000 on Feb. 23.

Davis appears to be a private person, and that’s certainly his prerogative. But he opened the door to public speculation with his initial flag-bearer tweet, and until he explains his thoughts and feelings directly, he’s leaving himself open to extra scrutiny in the days leading up to his competition.

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