Olympic Speed Skater Shreds Team USA Over Flag-Bearer Coin Toss

Five-time Olympian says he was “dishonorably” overlooked

U.S. men’s speed skater Shani Davis is less than thrilled he lost a coin toss to determine who will be the country’s flag bearer at Friday’s Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The four-time medalist shredded Team USA’s decision on Twitter on Thursday, saying Team USA “dishonorably” resorted to flipping a coin to pick its representative.


“I am an American and when I won the 1000m in 2010 I became the first American to 2-peat in that event,” said Davis. He added he can “wait until 2022” and included a “#BlackHistoryMonth2018” hashtag.

The 35-year-old lost to Erin Hamlin, who won a bronze medal at the 2014 Sochi games for luging. The flag bearer selection has an athlete picked from each of the eight sporting groups nominated. Ties, according to USOC rules, are decided by a coin flip.

Commenting on outcome, USOC Mark Jones told USA Today “it is an athlete-driven process and the selection was made between two great candidates.”

Davis is a five-time Olympian, and was the first black athlete to win an individual gold medal, winning the 1,000 meters race at the 2006 Torino games.