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View Full Version : JET magazine: In-depth interview with Shani Davis, Olympic Gold Medalist Speedskater


topspin
Mar 27th, 2006, 05:18 PM
Shani later relaxes and reflects on his landmark achievement at the recent Olympics that was unfairly overshadowed by drama on and off the ice.

“I just feel that I’m [the media’s] whipping boy. I feel like whenever it’s convenient for them to use me as a scapegoat, I’m always their go-to guy.,” says Shani, who trains in Calagary nine months out of the year and takes summer classes at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, where he plans to graduate this year. “I find it so unfair because I’ve never done anything to deserve that type of treatment from them, but I guess that’s the way it is.”



Shani’s speaking of two widely reported episodes that happened in Turin. The first is when he was portrayed as “selfish” and “unpatriotic” because he “withdrew” from the team pursuit. Teammate Chad Hedrick accused Shani of betrayal and said his decision cost Hedrick and the U.S. team a gold medal.



But in fact, Shani was never among the five skaters U.S. Speedskating officials entered in the event. Since January, Shani and his coach made it clear he would not be skating in the pursuit and preferred to concentrate on his later individual races. Though U.S. Speedskating listed him as “substitute” anyway, Shani could never have pulled out of the inaugural event because he never entered.



“I felt guilty because it seems like I knew that they were going to do something to him, and I though I was ready for it, but it seemed like when it came down to it, I wasn’t,” Cherie concedes, revealing that she changed her mind at the last minute to go to Italy only because she had this gut feeling. “It just didn’t seem like I protected him right.”



“The second incident was the terse interview Shani did with a female NBC reporter after he won the gold medal. He admits he was unhappy he couldn’t celebrate with his mom right away, but mostly the way the reporter treated him.



“I saw her all week in Chad’s [face], because he won the first gold medal. I would see her every day, [she] wouldn’t have a word to say to me, not even a word,” he says. “So when she tried this, ‘Oh my gosh,’ and all this stuff, I was just real short, I didn’t have anything to say to her because I saw the way she was with Chad and I didn’t have any respect for her. I had not intentions on talking to NBC at all, but they (the U.S. Olympic Committee) forced me to.”

***This is part of a six-page interview in the JET magazine*****

RunDown
Mar 27th, 2006, 05:32 PM
He was treated so unfairly. I mean, if Chad Hedrick hadn't started the whole "he withdrew" thing, none of this drama would've happened. But, oh well, the good guy prevailed in the end...Not only did he get his gold and silver (beating Hedrick in the process), but I think I read that he broke Hedrick's record at some competition a few weeks ago :p .

Plus, he's a cutie.

Dana Marcy
Mar 29th, 2006, 12:22 AM
“I saw her all week in Chad’s [face], because he won the first gold medal. I would see her every day, [she] wouldn’t have a word to say to me, not even a word,” he says. “So when she tried this, ‘Oh my gosh,’ and all this stuff, I was just real short, I didn’t have anything to say to her because I saw the way she was with Chad and I didn’t have any respect for her. I had not intentions on talking to NBC at all, but they (the U.S. Olympic Committee) forced me to.”

:yeah: I love it! The media can get on my last nerve and I'm glad he was cold to the reporter. And media whipping boy indeed!!!!

Wannabeknowitall
Mar 29th, 2006, 12:47 AM
I don't like Chad Hedrick. His smile is so fake. He has so much work done on them obviously including an unnatural whitening.
He looks fake. He comes off fake.
He comes off a little bit like a ****** and I'll explain. To me a fag isn't a stereotypical femme homosexual but is any man whose existence thrives on drama.
Chad could have stopped that stuff with the media at any time during the Olympics.
He just milked it all the way to the end. He's not an Olympic hero to me, he's a coward.
What Shani Davis did is history to some and Chad was selfish by making this about him and his possible Olympic accomplishments.
Even with saying that Shani does come off a bit of a loner.
Jay Leno didn't do anything to him and he was still a bit standoffish on his show.
I was still happy that Shani kicked Chad's ass at Worlds a couple of weeks ago.

Diesel
Mar 29th, 2006, 02:45 AM
Shani :clap2:

kabuki
Mar 29th, 2006, 03:39 AM
It's great to finally get a more complete view. The interview did look really bad, but now knowing the circumstances, I would have probably done a lot worse. Shani :yeah:

topspin
Mar 30th, 2006, 06:47 AM
From JET:

But it got more difficult as Shani grew better at the predominantly White sport. Name-calling and confrontations ensured.

As if it had just happened yesterday, Cherie relates an incident when Shani was 8 at a skating meet and they called a break before it was time for Shani to race. She said she took her son to get something to eat and when they got back they had begun the race and disqualified Shani for not being at the line. It turned out that someone played a trick on them-there had been no break.

"As each incident happened, it just make him stronger," said Cherie, who never backed down and acted on her instincts to defend and protect her only child.

"They always had an excuse to exclude him. They make exceptions for other people. and then when it came to Shani, they got the rule book out. He loved to skate, so I'd always say, "I'll do the fighting, don't even worry about it.' Sometimes I'd make things better and sometimes things for worse. They'd take out their frustration at me on him. We knew all that."

Shani says he learned form every heartrending experience. "Mom is strong. She did whatever she had to do that she felt to protect me; that's just the way she was. It helped me because if she could do it, why can't I?"

Rocketta
Mar 30th, 2006, 08:09 AM
Shani....:worship:

I'm so glad he stone-walled that reporter and now that I know why it makes it even funnier. Btw, the cover of that jet is nice. :)

Zamboni
Mar 30th, 2006, 01:26 PM
For some reason I don't like these sort of interviews from Shani. Yes, he has undoubtedly been discriminated against in his youth, but he's taking things too far now. Or, to be honest, he isn't, but his mother definitely is. What happened in Torino was a low trick by Hedrick, totally blew out of proportions by the American media, who saw the contrast and a possible controversy (it's what happens at the Olympics, speedskating fans will know what I mean;)). Hedrick should have shut up, yes, but Shani really didn't make himself available for the team. He was never on the list of 5 competitors for the Olympics, but he could have been part of the team but refused. So both sides have a point.
Shani distances himself from the American speedskating association, fine if it works for him (and it clearly does), but he shouldn't be surprised he gets something back. All you hear or read from him and his mother are accusions of racism, of discrimination by the US Skating association. It probably happened, but they have made it an ongoing issue. They don't want to have anything to do with US speedskating, or with the team, and they even criticise it in every way possible, and just do everything to take the association down it seems. It's bound to bounce back sometimes.
Also, it doesn't help that Cherie Davis takes on a personal war against everyone who criticises her son, and treatens with taking things to court everytime something's said about Shani, or about her. She gives interviews, features in documentaries but tries to sue people who discuss her on a mailinglist because she is 'not a public person'.

I just don't know:shrug: It's like Shani and Cherie are calling some things over themselves. Yes, Shani's been treated unfairly, but the way they do things just ain't going to help.
just trying to put some nuance into the thread

Rocketta
Mar 30th, 2006, 05:11 PM
Why is it expected of people who are treated like shit and told they are not wanted to then fake the funk and let bygones be bygones when the people who did the dirt initially never apologize or admit to any wrong doing? :confused:

Sounds like Cherie plays hard ball and is one smart cookie. She was/is smart enough to let Shani skate and let her be the one everyone looks at as the problem. :yeah: