Speed Skating With Shani Davis
Winter sports is once again at the start of its season. Included among these sports is speed skating. Included amongst the champions of this sport is Shani Davis.
I have come to appreciate viewing a great many sports. I enjoy watching excellence in motion, and am in wonderment of the physical abilities of so many professional athletes. Shani Davis is no exception to this view.
Anything that involves sprinting always catches my attention. I suppose it comes from my teenage years participating in track and field sprinting events. Running fast always made me feel free. I loved the exhiliration that flying past standing objects and slower runners provided me. Although I can now run only when I sleep, where my sub-conscience forgets I have MS and allows me to do whatever I desire, I still enjoy watching sprinting events broadcast on television.
Universal Sports has become one of my favorite channels to view for winter sports coverage. Currently they are showing the opening season world championships and qualifiers for the upcoming Vancouver Olympics. This means I get to view sheer speed in action.
What it is like to speed skate
Want to experience the difficulty of speed skating? Here's what you do, go to a track or a place with a couple of turns in the road pick a starting point and run FULL OUT for one minute and 8 seconds. I mean total full out running. Run as fast as you can, for as long as you can. If you can do that for one minute and 8 seconds, you will know what it feels like to speed skate for a 1,000 meters, like Shani Davis.
Of course, just because you successfully ran for 1.8 minutes doesn't mean you covered a thousand meters, but it does give you a little taste of how difficult it is to speed skate at world championship levels. You will appreciate just how good he is, needless to say.
- ISU : Winners in Neitherlands Championship
At the bottom of this page is a list of all the medal winners, male and female, who participated in the many skating events.
- Shani Davis' Official Website
See his early championship victories as well as other website links and info.
A Top Speed Skater
Shani Davis owns the 1000 and 1500 meters speed skating race! He is no slouch in the 500 meters and even 5,000 meter races. His speed around the turns can be attributed to the time he spent on the US short track skating team. Apolo Anton Ohno made short track skating very prominent.
Speed is of the essence for short track skating, taking curves on razor thin edges with barely room to extend your hands, let alone pass your opponent, enabled Shani Davis to acquire the skill needed for racing the turns on long tracks all over the world.
This 27 year old native of Chicago, IL has competed in and won races held all over the world, check out his website for his bio. He became the first African American to win a medal for skating at the last Olympic games. Since then, he continues to rack up the medals and the records for his speed specialties.
Steve Colbert and the Colbert Nation
What does Steve Colbert have to do with the US speed skating team? He has become their sponsor after DSB Bank a Dutch company, went bankrupt. His goal is to use "Colbert Nation" to raise funds for the team in time for the 2010 Olympics.
All skaters will benefit from the money raised as detailed in this Reuters news article.
Shani's Favorite Race
In an interview Davis stated that the 1,500 meter race is his favorite. How ironic that it is the one race he has failed to win in the last two Olympic games.
In Torino he silvered in the event and in the Vancouver games he did the same.
He hopes to win the race, and has now committed to the next games held in Russia in 2014. Four years is a long time away, he stated. and he also acknowledged the many talented younger athletes excelling in the sport however he has said as long as he is having fun and enjoying the competition he expects the next 4 years to go by quickly.
Still, coming up second in the world is nothing to be ashamed of. He did his best both times and although favored to win the event, it is not as easy to do when other racers train so that they peak at the Olympic games.
While he usually trains on his own he will be adding a new feature to his training for the next games, availing himself with the more scientific aspects of the sport which will help him increase his speed.
Record Set in 2010 Olympics
With his back to back wins in the 1,000 meter race, Davis became the first to take the gold in two separate Olympic Games.
- The Trailblazer - Shani Davis
A detailed look at Shani Davis written for the New York Times Magazine. It highlights his training routine, his stature in the speed skating community, and the problems he has encountered in his quest to be the number one speed skater of all times.
Shani Davis - The Outsider
Although Shani is a beloved athlete overseas, he is not so loved here in the US. He does not train or necessarily associate with the US speed skating team. His mother, Cherie Davis, has been described in the most unflattering terms.
There is no doubt that he is among the best in his sport, but his isolation is off-putting to many who follow the sport. Writers most constantly be on guard about what they write if they do not want to incur his mother's wrath.
He finds his own sponsors and pays his own expenses which of course gives him more freedom, but also brings him unfair criticism.
Who Sponsors the Outsider?
Davis has managed to garner sponsors even with his reputation in place. Nike, Actemium, BKB.NL and Maple are on the official sponsor's page of his website.
Sochi Russia 2014
It will be exciting to see Davis in the upcoming Olympic Games. One can only hope he will be victorious in gaining the gold medal for the race he loves most, the 1,500 meters.