Shani Davis said he will retire from speed skating next season if he can’t perform better on the World Cup circuit.
Davis, 32 and a four-time Olympic medalist, hasn’t finished better than third in 16 World Cup races this season, according to Speedskatingstats.com.
“If I can’t fix this by next year, I’m going to stop,” Davis told Dutch broadcaster NOS. “I’m not a middle-type-of-the-pack skater. 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.”
At the Sochi Olympics, Davis finished eighth and 11th in the 1000m and 1500m, after winning gold and silver medals in those distances in 2006 and 2010. The entire U.S. long track speed skating team struggled in Sochi, winning zero medals.
Davis, long known for training largely on his own, said he’s open to joining a speed skating team.
“In the past, I was able to do it by myself,” Davis said. “I was a true phenom talent. I think if I was younger, it’s possible for me to do it by myself. But, the way things are now, it’s really difficult. I would need some more structure, some more training partners and things like that.”
Davis will compete in the World Single Distance Championships in the Netherlands this weekend.