Shani Davis is competing in the Winter Olympics 2010 in Vancouver in speed skating.

American Shani Davis heads to Vancouver as the overwhelming favorite in the 1000m and 1500m. During the 2009-10 World Cup season, Davis won all four 1000m races. He also won four golds and one silver in the 1500m, breaking his own world record in that event at the final meet in Salt Lake City. Davis is the runaway standings leader in both of those races. In addition, he has said he will likely skate in the team pursuit, giving him a third shot at a medal. He may also skate in the 500m or 5000m.

Davis earned his place in the history books in Torino, becoming the first African-American to claim an individual gold medal at the Winter Olympics, when he won the 1000m ahead of teammate Joey Cheek. Davis also took silver in the 1500m in Torino. "I'm one of a kind,'' Davis said after winning the 1000m, acknowledging his athletic success in a sport with mostly white competitors. In fact, Davis was the first African-American to even qualify for the U.S. speed skating team. In 2002, he was the first to qualify for the U.S. short track team, selected as a relay alternate, but Davis did not compete in Salt Lake City.

Davis has performed consistently well on the international level since Torino. He defended his World Allround Championship title in 2006. "To me, this is bigger than the Olympics," Davis said of the win. "This medal is prestigious. Not only do you have to skate 500 meters, but you have to skate 10,000, you have to skate a 1500 and a 5000 and you only have two days to do it." In 2007, Davis won the world titles in the 1000m and 1500m. He then defended his 1000m title in 2008, and took bronze in the 1500m, and finished third at the 2008 World Allround Championships. In 2009, Davis won the overall title at the World Sprint Championships, and won the 1500m at World Single Distance Championships.

Davis's love of skating began when he was about 2 ½ years old, when his mother took him roller skating. Davis switched to the ice when he was 6 after his mother, who was working as a legal assistant at a law firm for longtime speed skating official Fred Benjamin, typed up the minutes of the Illinois Speed skating Association. After asking Benjamin about the sport, Shani's mother began shuttling him up to the Evanston Speedskating Club. When Shani was about 10, he and his mother moved to Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood to be closer to the rink.

At age 16, Davis was accepted into the development residency program in Lake Placid. It was then that he decided he wanted to one day make the Olympic team. He lived in Lake Placid for about one year, and the following year he moved to Marquette, Michigan, for more development programs. In 1999, Davis earned berths on the short-track and long-track teams at the junior world championships and made national team status. Unable to train with the U.S. short-track team in Colorado Springs (because there isn't a long track there) Davis moved again in 2001, this time crossing the border to train in Calgary, where he skated under former world champion Derrick Campbell of Canada.


How tall is he? How old is he? Where does he live? Find out here.

Age: 34 years old
Birthday: August 13, 1982
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 185 lbs.
Birthplace: Chicago, IL
Current Residence: Milwaukee, WI

Check out Shani Davis hot pics and sexy photos.



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