Shani Davis is going to another Olympics, looking to add to his four speed skating medals.
The 35-year-old finished second in the 1000m at the Olympic Trials in West Allis, Wis., on Wednesday to take one of up to three U.S. spots in the event in PyeongChang next month.
“I never used to worry about these things when I was young. Of course, it was more of an automatic thing,” Davis said. “Today, I was thinking what would happen if I wasn’t going to make the team. … I went out there and fought like it was the last race of my career.”
Sochi Olympian Joey Mantia won the trials 1000m in 1:09.15. Davis was second in 1:09.23, followed by Mitch Whitmore in 1:09.31 to likely round out the Olympic team in the event.
Whitmore’s spot will be safe if some men start making the team in multiple events, which is highly expected, to keep the overall men’s roster size to a maximum of eight.
Heather Bergsma and Brittany Bowe, who both own 1000m world titles, went one-two in the women’s 1000m at trials later Wednesday to make the Olympic team.
Davis earned Olympic 1000m gold in 2006 and 2010 but finished eighth in Sochi as part of a stunning medal-less performance from the U.S. in its historically most successful Winter Games sport.
“It’s not a passing moment that I don’t think about 2014, but there’s nothing I can do about it now,” he said in 2016.
Davis rebounded from Sochi to earn a surprise world 1000m title in 2015, a crown that helped convince him not to retire. He has struggled since, finishing 12th, 12th, 13th and 14th in four World Cup 1000m races this season.
“I’m not a middle-type-of-the-pack skater,” Davis said in 2015, 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.”
Davis also owns Olympic 1500m silver medals from 2006 and 2010 and will race that event at trials on Saturday. Again, the top three are in line to make the Olympic team.
He entered trials as the third-fastest U.S. man in both the 1000m and 1500m this season.
“I think I can put myself in the higher rankings worldwide, not just in America,” Davis said. “I still want to be the fastest speed skater in the world.”
Up to 16 skaters could qualify for the Olympic team at trials with the best medal hopes in the 1000m, 1500m and mass start.
OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!Follow @nzaccardi
U.S. Olympic Speed Skating Trials
|Tuesday, Jan. 2||4:15 p.m.||Women’s 3000m||LIVE STREAM|
|5:30-7 p.m.||Women’s 3000m||NBCSN, Streaming|
|Wednesday, Jan. 3||6-7:30 p.m.||1000m||NBCSN, Streaming
|Thursday, Jan. 4||6:30-8:30 p.m.||Women’s 5000m||NBCSN, Streaming|
|Friday, Jan. 5||4:20 p.m.||500m #1||LIVE STREAM|
|6:30-8 p.m.||500m #2||NBCSN, Streaming|
|Saturday, Jan. 6||6-8 p.m.||1500m||NBCSN, Streaming|
|Sunday, Jan. 7||6-6:45 p.m.||Mass start||NBCSN, Streaming|