At 33, Shani Davis jokes that he’s close to being called a speed skating grandpa, but the four-time Olympic medalist said in January that he’s still considering a run for the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics.
“I still have that passion from when I first started skating,” Davis told NBC TMJ4 in Milwaukee. “I’m just going to try to time it, you know. I want to time it so that if I do make it to 2018, that I’m in the best shape physically and mentally.”
Davis, who took gold in the 1000m and silver in the 1500m at both the 2006 and 2010 Olympics, finished fifth in those distances at the World Single Distance Championships two weeks ago.
That marked the first time he missed the podium at a World Single Distance Championships.
Davis is the world-record holder in both events and won a surprise World 1000m title last season, after contemplating retirement during a campaign in which he had one World Cup podium finish (a third place).
“I’m not a middle-type-of-the-pack skater,” Davis said last year, before his bounce-back World title. “If I’m not competitive with the rest of the world, and I’m sixth and seventh and eighth, whatever, then it’s not for me. I can happily move on.”
This season, Davis also has one World Cup podium finish (a third place from Nov. 20). But, in the January interview, he sounded more optimistic about his future than one year ago.
“To try to save that energy just for those races at the Olympics and not spread myself too thin doing like, the World Cups and all these other races,” Davis told TMJ4. “The gold-medal part will always be something in me, but I won’t start thinking about that until the Olympic year.”
Davis can also take motivation from the Sochi Olympics, where he finished a disappointing eighth in the 1000m and 11th in the 1500m.
“It’s not a passing moment that I don’t think about 2014, but there’s nothing I can do about it now,” Davis said. “So it’s just moving forward and trying to correct the mistakes that we made there and, hopefully, four years’ time, we’re on the right track.”