Shani Davis rips Team USA's decision on flag bearer after coin flip

Jonathan Hernandez
February 9, 2018

He also became the first black athlete to win an individual gold at the Winter Olympics back in 2006.

Hamlin's selection brought warm notice across social media, including from television outlets, elected officials, and the U.S. Olympic team.

The flag bearer is selected by a panel of athletes representing each of the eight Winter Olympic federations. The USOC, clearly aware a tie was possible, let it be known before the games that a coin flip would be used to decide the victor if that happened.

The four-time medalist shredded Team USA's decision on Twitter on Thursday, saying Team USA "dishonorably" resorted to flipping a coin to pick its representative.

Hamlin, 31, from Remsen, New York, is already a three-time Olympic athlete. Given his history, Davis was an obvious candidate to carry the flag for the United States delegation at tomorrow's Opening Ceremony.

"We feel strongly toward Shani and they felt strongly for Erin".

Hamlin is no stranger to history.

Perhaps even more puzzling is why Davis wasnt the overwhelming choice among his fellow USA athletes. Maame Biney, who has said Davis is one of her inspirations, will compete for the short track speedskating team, and Erin Jackson, an experienced inline skater who only started training on the ice just months ago, will compete for the long-track speedskating team. It is definitely a privilege and honor to be the one to lead the team and will be a very special moment.

Multiple people told USA TODAY Sports that as of Friday morning, Davis did not intend to participate in the ceremony in accordance with his original plans. For the 2016 Games in Sochi, nordic combined skier Todd Lodwick carried the flag before the Winter Games, and hockey player Julie Chu carried it for the Closing Ceremony.

She also won a single silver and a sprint gold at the 2017 World Championships in Igls. She's hoping to carry that momentum into 2018 and add to her medal count.

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