Shani Davis snubs ceremony after losing flag-bearer coin toss
American speed skater Shani Davis will not march at the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics after losing a coin toss to carry his country's flag, a U.S spokesperson has said.
Eight American athletes vied to become the individual who would lead out Team USA at Friday's opening ceremony. Speed skater Shani Davis and luger Erin Hamlin couldn't be separated so a coin was tossed to determine who would be given the honour. Lady luck fell Hamlin's way.
But it did not go down well with Davis, who reacted angrily on Twitter.
He posted: "I am an American and when I won the 1000m in 2010 I became the first American to 2-peat in that event. Team USA dishonorably tossed a coin to decide its 2018 flag bearer. No problem. I can wait until 2022. #BlackHistoryMonth2018.”
The five-time Olympian's tweet gained a mixed reception.
A U.S spokesperson has since revealed that Davis will not march with his fellow American athletes during Friday's Opening Ceremony.
"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.
Olympia 2018 - Pyeongchang: Erin Hamlin (Team USA)Getty Images
Hamlin, who will retire after the Games and became the first American female luger to medal at an Olympics when she won bronze in Sochi four years ago, said she was "honoured and excited" to be named flag-bearer.
"This is something totally different (than winning an Olympic medal)," the 31-year-old said in a statement.
"It's something that is because of that hard work. People acknowledge that and respect that. It's a big privilege to represent Team USA."