From Daily Mail: Erin Hamlin has led Team USA out for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang after being named as flag carrier ahead of Shani Davis, who boycotted the ceremony.
Hamlin, a four-time Olympian and winner of a luge bronze medal at the 2014 Sochi games, beamed a broad smile as she led out the athletes competing at the games in South Korea to the accompaniment of ‘Gangnam Style’.
The 31-year-old was chosen in a tie-breaking coin toss with speedskater Shani Davis, one of just a few black athletes in Team USA, who says he should have been chosen to carry the Stars and Stripes.
Davis, 35, a five-time Olympian who has won two gold medals and two silver medals, lost after a vote among sports federations represented at the games ended in a draw.
A U.S. speed skating spokesman said Davis had not originally planned to march in the parade of nations later on Friday, but would have made an exception if he had been chosen as flag-bearer. ‘Shani won’t march in the parade. It was never part of his plans. He is fully focused on his first race and is concentrating on that,’ the spokesman said.
In an angry tweet, Davis, took a shot at Hamlin, the holder of a single bronze medal. ‘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 on Twitter in the early hours of Thursday.
He then slammed Team USA for ‘dishonorably’ tossing a coin to decide who would have the honor of carrying the flag.
‘No problem. I can wait until 2022,’ he added before using the hashtag #BlackHistoryMonth2018.’
The reaction has not gone down well with fans who dubbed Davis a ‘baby’, ‘spoiled’ and said his reaction was a case of ‘sour grapes.’
He tweeted again today (his tweets are now protected), in what appears to be another a thinly veiled jibe at Team USA who have already faced criticism over the lack of diversity in their 2018 Winter team.
‘It has been such an honor to have represented the greatest, most diverse country in the world at the last five Winter Games during the same month as #blackhistorymonth #goTeamUSA. Watch ‘Origins of Black History Month’.’
The US is not the most diverse country in the world. In fact it doesn’t even break the top 20, according to Pew Research.
The athlete’s mother Cherie Davis, a controversial figure renowned for her fierce, relentless defense of her son if she believes he is in any way under attack, claimed she wasn’t aware of the furor about the choice of flagbearer until yesterday.
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