Skip to comments.Without Davis, Hedrick can't equal Heiden(Shani Davis skating for himself...screws US team)
Posted on 02/16/2006 7:22:01 AM PST by rbmillerjr
Without Davis, Hedrick can't equal Heiden
February 16, 2006
BY JAY MARIOTTI Sports Columnist
TURIN, Italy -- Chad Hedrick's dream of becoming the 21st-century Eric Heiden is over. Which means Shani Davis' national nightmare might be beginning.
With Hedrick reduced to shouting in frustration Wednesday, an American team without Davis was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the team pursuit competition in Olympic long-track speedskating. That quickly, so went Hedrick's chances of equaling Heiden's legendary 1980 record of five Winter Games gold medals.
And that ominously, the focus turned to Davis, the South Side native and 2005 world all-around champion. Saying he wanted to concentrate on his strongest individual event, the 1,000 meters this Saturday, Davis bowed out of the team pursuit despite the objections of Hedrick, who said the U.S. relay would win "a sure gold medal'' if Davis raced.
Now that Hedrick can win only four golds, Davis faces criticism if the Texan -- cheered on by Laura Bush and daughter Barbara during his victory in the 5,000 last weekend -- sweeps his individual events and falls just short of Heiden.
Hedrick tried to downplay Davis' absence, instead bemoaning a lost opportunity in the race. The U.S. team had the lead after four laps, only to fall behind by a lap and a half and lose to Italy before a charged-up crowd at Oval Lingotto.
"I can't think what might have been with Shani there,'' Hedrick said. ''We had a team with good skaters. They all went out there and gave their hearts and tried their best. There's no one to blame.''
But then he changed course on his missing teammate.
"Every chance to represent your country and show what your country can do, I think you should take it,'' Hedrick said. "Other people may think differently.''
He followed with what sounded like a WWE challenge to Davis in the 1,000.
"I'm going to bounce back and prove to everybody what I can do,'' Hedrick said. "You may beat Chad Hedrick once, but you're not going to beat him twice.''
The telling visual -- Hedrick gesturing emotionally on the track after 35-year-old teammate KC Boutiette crossed the finish line behind Italy's Stefano Donagrandi -- is all anyone has to know. Hedrick also tried to downplay the five-gold angle, telling reporters: "You guys put pressure on me to win the five golds. The five medals is not a big thing.''
His coach suggested otherwise.
"Of course, he's upset,'' Bart Schouten said. "But he couldn't blame anybody and didn't want to blame anybody. When he loses, he blames himself.''
The blanks can be filled in easily enough, knowing the contentious gulf between the Davises -- Shani and his outspoken mother, Cherie -- and U.S. Speedskating officials. Hedrick and the other racers sometimes seem like innocent victims in a blood feud.
Asked if Davis would have made a difference, Boutiette said, "No comment.''
Hedrick's teammates in the pursuit -- Boutiette and Charles Ryan Leveille Cox -- were left to explain what went wrong. With Hedrick bolting out like the dominant skater he is, the Americans seemed in good shape. But Boutiette didn't keep up the pace, causing him and Hedrick to second-guess their strategy of having Boutiette in the final slot.
"Our best bet would have been to have Chad in the back,'' Boutiette said. "When it gets to a certain point, your body does give out. I'm not a young buck anymore. I gave it my all. After I pulled my lap, I knew I was in trouble.''
"Me and Chad beat them across the line,'' Leveille Cox said, "but it just wasn't quite enough today.''
There was, after all, a missing link.
Shanni Davis' immediate comment was "I don't care what anybody thinks."
Typical arrogant, pampered, and self-centered athlete.
Outside of a brief Costas mention. The press has has buried this story on a national and international level. The only story I could find was in Davis' local paper.
Do athletes really go to the Olympics for their country, or for themselves?
Send him home on the same flight as the commie figure skating nut job. They can complain together for 8 hours.
May be there's room for him on the Womans Curling team.
How can this guy dis the US team and his country in such an arrogant and bold manner and not be sent home.
This is disgusting and a poor example of sportsmanship and the Olympic spirit. A terrible example for young athletes and kids to watch.
I like the Women's Curling team comment. But I'd rather watch a Curling loss than a Shani Davis win.
Only the naive believe they're in it "for country."
It's about personal glory and a hopeful payday -- let's face it.
That's why I couldn't give a rat's @ss about the Olympics.
I thought about this when watching Olympic hockey.
Given the choice between the US winning a Gold Medal in Hockey, and Finland player (and Dallas Star) Jere Lehtinen not getting hurt, I would gladly give up a US Gold Medal for Lehtinen staying healthy. This is not 1980. That's why pros in the Olympics don't work. The US tied Latvia, because even though the US is more talented, hockey is a team sport, and you just can't put a bunch of guys together and have them play as a team, they need time to work together.
His biggest loss will be the most long lasting. He can forget about endorsement money.
Unlike Hedrick, I suppose, whose motivation (according to this article) is to win as many golds as he, he, he can.
Aaah, a different time when Olympians were amateur AND were prideful in winning FOR country.
Best moment in Olympic history by far -- U.S. vs. USSR winning 4-3 in 1980.
You're right, it has become profesionalized and tainted to an extent.
But there are some athletes, who still are in it for the sport and for their countries...hey, if that brings millions in endorsements...so be it.
An example is the 23 yo. Australian Freestyle Moguls gold medal winner...he is an intenet millionaire. Despite little practice time due to his working on his company, he still wants to ski and compete.
Shani Davis is the opposite...I will be rooting against him and could care less about medals the US may or may not get with that punk.
Calling Bryant Gumballll
"His biggest loss will be the most long lasting. He can forget about endorsement money."
There is always a silver lining lol, or lack thereof.
It was a great moment, and it will never happen again, even if the US wins the Gold, it will never be the same.
You mean the guy who dumped his black wife for the "white prize?"
"Typical arrogant, pampered, and self-centered athlete."
Indeed. Yet, if it's the Olympics we get nasty about it. If it's on the football field or basketball court, we make these arrogant, pampered, and self-centered athletes into national "heroes."
Shani Davis on Shani Davis
"And I'LL I'LL be pretty upset if people got upset about MY MY decisions and what I I feel is best for ME ME because, all in all, I I know what's best for ME ME. And if I I feel that not skating the pursuit will do ME ME better for the 1,000 meters, then I'm going to do it."
Of course that is all a lie because he skated an individual event that he had little to no chance in which was a longer event. It's about HIM and HIS INDIDVIDUAL GOLD. Team events aren't good enough. Maybe he is jealous of the Hedrick guy who is upstaging him.
"Do athletes really go to the Olympics for their country, or for themselves?"
Only the naive believe they're in it "for country."
It's about personal glory and a hopeful payday -- let's face it.
I have to disagree with you...somewhat
When Canadians finish an event, doesn't matter what place they finished, be it 1-2 or 29, they come and do an interview with a BIG smile on, if they lose they put no blame on anyone, and ALL are thankfull to represent Canada...
I'm sure MOST of the hockey players in the Olympics are in it for their country and not for personal gains.
Just cos some spoiled American kicks his foot out at the end of the race to show that HE was the reason why the US SHOULD have won a medal, doesn't mean that all athletes are so full of themselves like that.
"With Hedrick bolting out like the dominant skater he is..."
He is the reason why the Americans didn't get into the semi-finals...
This was a team event, having Hendrick leave his teamates behind, and kicking his leg in front of the finish line showed one thing...that he wanted to prove to the world that losing in the QF's wasnt his fault, trying to upstage his teamates...
But it was his fault...
He(Hedrick)is the reason why the Americans didn't get into the semi-finals...
Totally incorrect. Hedrick and the other members were actually ahead of the Italians, unfortunately due to Shani Davis not caring about his team or his country, the US had a weak link Boutierre as the replacement for Davis.
But don't blame Boutierre, at leas he cared enough to try.
doesnt matter if Hendrick finished 2 laps ahead of the Italians, that's not the point of the race...
the team has to finish together, or as close together as they can...if hendrick had been a team player, he would have done what he should have done, let his teamates draft, or help his teamates draft...
You obviously either no nothing about skating or choose not to look at the reality.
Everybody knows that if the selfish punk Davis skated, the Americans were favored to win Gold.
i'm from Canada...you really think i know nothing about skating?
Who's to say that the Americans were favorite to win?...i say the Canadians were and are favorite to win.
If you knew anything about longtrack pursuite skating you would know that it doesn't matter who crosses the line first, but who crosses it last.
That you, Shani?
yeh...it's me shani
It might be wrong of me to say this, but there's a part of me that is thrilled to see Hedrick fail to win five gold medals. Hedrick never would have "equaled" Heiden's accomplishment even if had won five golds. Heiden won five gold medals in individual races, and I've always had a problem with skaters like Kedrick and swimmers like Michael Phelps and Mark Spitz who pad their medal totals by participating in relay events.
Heiden won gold medals in five races that ranged from 500 to 10,000 meters -- something that will probably never be accomplished again. This is sort of the equivalent of having the same runner win gold medals at five different distances from 100 meters to the marathon . . . something that would rightly be regarded as the greatest feat in sports history.
i never said that dumbass. I said that the weak link was the last person. Which was a replacement for Shani the punk Davis.
Try debating honestly instead of lying...Cherie.
Truly the most memorable moment for many of us, but as I said in my previous post on this thread . . . as far as I'm concerned, Heiden's five gold medals at the 1980 Winter Olympics ought to go down as the single greatest accomplishment in Olympic history.
Anybody know anything about the feud between Shani and his mother and the U.S. Speedskating association that the article references?
There are things they could have and should have done to handle that. In the persuit teammates can push each other to give speed. Knowing who the slowest skater was he should have been in the middle, thus getting drafting help from the guy in front and pushes from the guy in back, instead they put the slowest skater in back so the only help he had was draft, and then when he couldn't keep up he lost the draft assistance and that was it.
Really the whole thing is a cluster. In non-Olympic speed skating competitions that include the persuit they do the persuit last so it won't interfere with anyone's individual races, here they stuck it in the middle which gives skaters a good reason to not want to be in the persuit. And they just included Davis without checking with him, which was kind of dumb. It's the only team event in long track speed skating, they shouldn't have assumed anyone would want to participate.
i'm not debating, i'm telling you what's up dumbass :D
There's nothing to debate here...U.S. lost in the QF's because they weren't good enough.
Wasn't Mark Spitz medal accomplishments in Mexico worth a mention?
7 gold medals in one Olympics hardly chopped liver!
I belive it was in Munich in 72, not Mexico.
mexico was in 68
You're right. He had won 2 golds 1 bronze and 1 silver in Mexico City, then went on to win the 7 golds in Munich.
To me, the greatest Olympic accomplishment ever was the Japanese gymnast who nailed his landing...despite having a broken leg.
That's what the Olympics is all about.
As dominating as Koss was at Lillehammer, there was no way he could win the 500 meters AND the 10 000.
Heiden - all time legend.
They were, but three of his medals were in relay events. You generally find more multiple-medal winners in swimming because it isn't difficult for a single swimmer to master multiple types of strokes at multiple distances -- and when you factor relays into the mix, a swimmer simply gets a lot of opportunities to win medals.
In their coverage of Heiden's last gold medal race, one of the major U.S. newspapers (I think it was the Washington Post) referred to Heiden as "the Secretariat of speedskating." I can't think of a better description of an athlete that dominated his sport the way nobody else has ever done.
Send him home on the same flight as the commie figure skating nut job. They can complain together for 8 hours.""
Names and details, please.
His biggest loss will be the most long lasting. He can forget about endorsement money.""
Point well said. I hope NO ONE gives him any endorsements in his entire life. Don't know anything about his mother and disagreements with the USA skating group. Shani sounds like an apple that hasn't fallen far from the tree. Did he grow up in New Orleans??? Same kind of ME ME ME Attitude.
the team has to finish together, or as close together as they can...if hendrick had been a team player, he would have done what he should have done, let his teamates draft, or help his teamates draft...""
Go back and replay the event- The last place USA skater was out of gas and losing ground every milisecond. No one could have given him any last second speed. It was the LAST LAP of a very swift event.
Again, every once in awhile there are aberrations. Well, you are the Canuck that doesn't know shit about ice skating.
The Americans out due to Insany Davis and the Canucks still only win the Silver. Hmm, guess you were wrong about that Golden prediction too lmao.
(Outside of a brief Costas mention. The press has has buried this story on a national and international level. The only story I could find was in Davis' local paper.)
Sounds like Rush is right about black athletes. The biggest bigotry is the bigotry of low expectations. A white athlete would have been taken to task by the media.
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