Day 9 of the winter games in Turin, Italy and I haven't seen much talked about the activities in and among the Caribbean blogging crew. I guess, the general premise is that hey, we folks don't dig cold weather sports. We ein much represented dey anyhow, so why bother?? Fair enough statement I might say. Usually, I'm a big Olympics fan, I watch both summer and winter games. I enjoy seeing the human interest clips on the athletes, their trials and triumphs to make it to the games. It's a personal achievement and many times a community one. I like to see the adrenaline of the players. The excitement and fear in their faces at the beginning of their event and at the same time, the joy and disappointment of missing that gold by a 10th of a second or even missing the podium by a 5th of a second. All your yrs of training comes down to a matter of seconds.
I haven't seen any of the games this year, just the news clips. The local network here that shows them are constantly being interrupted by cadenas (mandatory government information programs) So I'm a bit out of touch with the excitement of the games and what's taking place. I usually like to watch the Ski jumping, the giant downhill, and of course the ice dancers. The golden guys and gals of the ice comes next week, so I'm hoping to catch a event or two. Anyhow, a new clipping I saw last night caught my attention and I thought I'd post about it.
Bloggers meet Shani Davis
Davis began making history at age 17 when he became the first U.S. speedskater to earn spots on both the short track and long track Junior World Teams and accomplished that feat three years in a row in 2000, 2001 and 2002 . In 2003-04, Davis was the silver medalist at the World All-Around Championships and was the 1500 meters World Champion at the 2004 World Single Distance Championships During the 2004-2005 season, Davis won his third straight U.S. Long Track Championship Title, broke the 1500 meter World Record, and went on to win the 2005 World All -Around Championships For the second season in a row, not only did Davis make history earning spots on World Teams in both disciplines, he also made his first World Sprint Team earning two silver medals. In the 2005 Fall World Cup 3, Davis set a new world record in the 1000 meters and went on to win the 1000 meters a total of four consecutive times in World Cups 3 and 4. Also during the 2004-05 team, Davis was a member of the U.S. Short Track World Team that won a bronze medal in the relay event at the World Short Track Championships. Davis joins an elite group of speedskaters who have represented their countries in different Olympic Games as a long track speedskater and short track speedskater.
Update For the 2006 Olympic Games, Davis set out to accomplish what has never been done before in U.S. Olympic history: make both teams for the same Games. He finished sixth in the 2006 U.S. Short Track Championships, one spot short of making the team.
Well as of this posting, Davis has become the first African-American or in other words, the first black to win an individual Gold at the winter olympics in the long track for which he is the current world record holder. He is set to go for his second gold in the short track next Tuesday. Of course not without controversy amongs his fellow team skaters. Stay tuned.
I thought that this was a nice little story. Blacks making their mark in witner sports and at the winter olympics. I'm sure everyone remembers a few Olympics ago when the Jamacian bobsled team made their debut. Althought they had a poor performance, their story made more headlines than many others. Ironically, they are not represented at this years olympics, but the team is in Turin, doing promotional and marketing activites, to rais money for their next olympics. Call that classic, I'd say.
At the last winter olympics in Salt Lake City, Vonetta Flowers also made history as the first black woman to win gold in the two woman bobsled. She was the pusher, I'm sure there is a more athletically correct word for her position.
Flowers returned for her second full season after giving birth to twin boys August 30, 2002. Vonetta teamed up with Olympian Jean Racine and finished the 2004-2005 season ranked number four in the world. During the season Flowers brought home three medals (1 gold and 2 bronze). Vonetta and Jean also finished fifth at the World Championships in Calgary, Canada. Vonetta not only competed for the season but also was a mom as well as she along with her husband, Johnny, brought the boys on tour with them for the entire season.
Flowers became the first ever African-decent athlete to win a Winter Olympic Gold Medal after she teamed up with Jill Bakken to shock the world and bring home the gold at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Vonetta took the first half of the 2002-2003 season off after giving birth to twin boys following the Olympics. Flowers returned to the ice in January 2003 and teamed up with fellow Olympian Jean Racine and finished sixth at the World Championships in Winterberg, Germany.
I think if my counting is correct, there are 9 black athletes competing at the games in Turin, I can only wish all of them the best of luck, and maybe their success in their respective sports will encourage our younger brothers and sisters that all sports are out there to excel at and don't let stereotypical limitations stop them from pursuing their dreams.