*Shani Davis made history Wednesday night by winning his second consecutive Olympic gold medal in 1,000-meter speedskating, beating South Korea’s Mo Tae-bum with a time of 1 minute, 8.94 seconds.
Four years ago at Turin, he became the first African-American athlete to win an individual gold at the Olympics. This time, he enters the record books as the first male skater, period, to win the 1,000 meters at back to back Winter Games.
“When you’re a world champion or an Olympic champion, you get this little thing on your back called a target,” said Davis. “To go out there and win the 1,000 meters twice is truly amazing.”
American Chad Hedrick, who won three medals at the 2006 games, took the bronze medal in the event at the Richmond Olympic Oval. Their accomplishments in Turin—Davis won a gold and silver; Hedrick a medal of each color—were overshadowed by a beef stemming from the team pursuit. Davis wanted to stick with his individual events, a decision that peeved Hedrick, who believed it cost the Americans a shot at a medal.
Their animosity boiled over at a news conference after the 1,500, in which Davis finished second and Hedrick third. Hedrick brought up the team pursuit, and Davis stormed out of the room complaining that Hedrick didn’t congratulate him on his gold, only the silver.
But those issues were left in the past, as the two stood together on the victory stand, each holding one end of an American flag.
“Everything that Shani and I had in 2006 is behind us now,” Hedrick said. “We’re here. We’re proud to represent our country. We’re proud to put a few more medals on the table of the Americans.”
Watch Shani Davis’ gold medal performance here.
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