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.
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.
...you're an idiot :D
More like the "Churl" team.
"Well, you are the Canuck that doesn't know shit about ice skating. "
...it's called speedskating...
Ice skating is what you do at night in your dreams, you know, when you put on you pretty little white skates, the dress, and the barrettes in your hair...just wait for the roses honey, they'll be showering down on you soon.
Hooray for Shanni Davis! It is HIS choice to make. I'm sick of this Olympic pseudo-religion.
Yeah, Shani ( I don't care bout nuttin but ME) the rugged individualist...lol
The "I I I ME ME ME" non team player in his own words:
"The only things I care about are the 1,000 and the 1,500."
And that pretty much should end the Hedrick/Heiden hype, right there. The U.S. surely will lose the team pursuit on Thursday to Norway and to the Netherlands, and maybe now Hedrick will lose another gold, too. The extra day's rest that Davis gets, and that Hedrick does not, might give Davis just enough of an edge when the two rivals duel at 1,000 meters.
...and Shani wins the gold. lol
And if Shani wins the 1500, give that one to Chad, too.
Chad deserves those gold medals! Not Shani!
No, no! I know! Give Shani's gold to Bode Miller!
You're a winter sports expert, so you knew he was favored, Right?
Just another medal in the American column to me...I respect his accomplishment, but can't respect the man.
No class, not a team player. He'll be remembered for what he didn't, yet should have done...win a medal in the team pursuit.
The first black American to win an individual winter olympic medal...and oh boy what a role model he is /sarcasm off
go back to ice skating you racist punk.