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Shani Davis

United States

SportShort Track
NOCUnited States
Born13 Aug 1982 in Chicago, IL 
FamilySon Ayize
ResidenceChicago, IL, USA
OccupationAthlete, Coach
Higher educationNorthern Michigan University: Marquette, MI, USA
Main Achievements
Main Achievements
World Championships
World Championships
    5000m Relay     1  
Social Media
Social Media  
Sport Specific Information
Sport Specific Information
Reason for choosing this sportHe initially tried roller skating but quickly became bored as he would get in trouble for skating around the rink too fast. At age six a coach suggested he switch to ice skating. Shortly after his mother started working for a lawyer, whose son was involved in speed skating at an elite level. These influences led him to switch, and he joined the Evanston Speed Skating Club the same year.  
When and where did you begin this sport?He began roller skating at age two in Chicago, IL, United States of America. He took up skating on ice at age six at the Evanston Speed Skating Club, also in Chicago.  
Training RegimeHe trains for up to six hours a day.  
General Interest
General Interest
InjuriesHe was affected by a groin injury during the 2012/13 season. (, 01 Oct 2013)  
Other sportsIn 2004 he became the first US skater to be on both the short track and speed skating national team for a world championships. He achieved the same feat in 2005. (, 23 May 2005)  
Most influential person in careerHis mother. (Athlete, 26 Feb 2016)  
AmbitionsTo win a medal at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, and then to go into coaching and complete his studies at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI, United States of America. (, 19 Jul 2017)  
Awards and honoursHe received the Oscar Mathisen Award in 2005 and 2009, and the Major Taylor Award in 2006. (, 20 Oct 2012)

In 2005 he was named US Speed Skating Athlete of the Year. (US Speed Skating, 18 Apr 2005)
Memorable sporting achievementWinning a gold medal in the 1000m at the 2015 World Single Distances Championships in Heerenveen, Netherlands. (, 16 Jun 2017; Athlete, 26 Feb 2016)  
Sporting philosophy / motto"Just do it." (Athlete, 26 Feb 2016)  
In 2016 and 2017 he spent time training in the Republic of Korea in preparation for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. "I have always liked to do my own thing and I just felt that I needed a change. What could be better than training in an environment that was going to host the Olympics? It was very modest living. It was also good not to be in your comfort zone all the time. I have a house in Salt Lake City with lots of rooms, giant TVs, large comfortable couches, things like that, and then I came here and I had a twin-size bed, refrigerator in the room for food, and a hotplate to cook a meal. I wasn't here for luxury living. I was more here to get the training and I couldn't get the training like that in America." (OIS, 05 Feb 2018;, 08 Nov 2017)

After finishing second in the 1000m at the 2016 World Cup event in Heerenveen, Netherlands, he passed Jeremy Wotherspoon's tally of 13009 points to become the all-time leading points scorer at World Cup events. "I did not expect to ever pass Jeremy. He is a class apart." (, 13 Dec 2016)

At the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, he became the first man to successfully defend a 1000m Olympic speed skating title. (, 18 Feb 2010)

Growing up in a single parent family in Chicago, IL, United States of America, he jokes that his quest for speed began when he had to run away from tougher kids. Getting into speed skating also brought him some unwanted attention. "It takes a lot of courage to step out and do something different, especially if it's not popular. People are always going to find something negative to draw out of something you love. All my friends made fun of me, but I found ways to make fun of them. Now, they're like, 'I can't believe you stuck with it, man. We used to give you so much crap.'" (, 02 Nov 2005)
Hero / IdolUS basketballer Michael Jordan, Ivorian footballer Didier Drogba. (Athlete, 26 Feb 2016)  
Championships results
Year Competition Event Rank  
Championships results
    2004/2005 World Championships 5000m Relay3  
    2001/2002 World Junior Championships 2000m Relay4  
    2000/2001 World Junior Championships 2000m Relay4  
    2003/2004 World Championships 5000m Relay8  
    2001/2002 World Junior Championships Overall10  
    1999/2000 World Junior Championships Overall11  
    2000/2001 World Junior Championships Overall14  
World Cups
Year Competition Event Rank  
World Cups
    2004/2005 World Cup Beijing 5000m Relay2  
    2004/2005 World Cup Overall16  
    2004/2005 World Cup 1500m16  
    2004/2005 World Cup 1000m19  
    2004/2005 World Cup 500m29  
    2006/2007 World Cup 1000m32  
    2002/2003 World Cup Overall50  
    2002/2003 World Cup 1500m51  
    2002/2003 World Cup 1000m56  
    2006/2007 World Cup 1500m66  
    2007/2008 World Cup 500m72  
    2002/2003 World Cup 500m72  
    2007/2008 World Cup 1000m88  
    2007/2008 World Cup 1500m97