Team USA speedskater Shani Davis sat out Friday’s Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Pyeongchang, South Korea, a spokesman for U.S. Speedskating confirmed to TheWrap.
A day earlier, Davis vented his frustration over a coin flip costing him the opportunity to carry the United States flag during the event’s Parade of Nations march. He shredded Team USA’s tie-breaker rules, saying the position was “dishonorably” decided.
“I am an American and when I won the 1000m in 2010 I became the first American to 2-peat in that event,” Davis wrote Thursday on Twitter. He added he can “wait until 2022” and included a “#BlackHistoryMonth2018” hashtag.
Here is Davis’ tweet:
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 pic.twitter.com/dsmTtNkhJs
— Shani Davis (@ShaniDavis) February 8, 2018
Of course, it’s hard to say why Davis skipped the ceremony. He hasn’t spoken about it yet.
“Many athletes from all of the countries debate whether or not to attend the Opening Ceremony,” the U.S. Speedskating rep told TheWrap. “Our athletes, with the help of our staff, determine whether or not attending them would impact their training and race preparation.”
Fellow speedskater Brian Hansen also skipped Friday’s opening ceremony.
“Opening Ceremony is one of my favorite days from the past two Olympic Games I’ve competed in, but at the same time, you know, I remember the next day, my legs were just a little stiff, my lower back was a little sore, so, you know, I think I might skip it this time around,” Hansen had told NBC 5 ahead of the official torch-lighting.
Luge athlete Erin Hamlin, who had tied Davis 4-4 in the initial team vote, carried the flag today.
Hamlin won a bronze medal at the 2014 Sochi games for luging. Davis is a five-time Olympian, and was the first African-American athlete to win an individual gold medal, winning the 1,000 meters race at the 2006 Torino games.
Those who missed the Opening Ceremony live stream can catch it with commentary tonight at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on NBC. You won’t see Davis.