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Olympic Speedskater Shani Davis Skips Opening Ceremony After Losing Flag Bearer Role

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U.S. Olympic speedskaters Shani Davis and Brian Hansen reportedly skipped Friday’s 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony amid controversy over the flag bearer selection process.

Davis, a two-time Olympic champion, had originally intended not to attend the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony due to his training schedule, a spokesman for U.S. speed skating told NBC. However, he had briefly reconsidered when he learned that he was tied with Erin Hamlin in the voting process for the role of Team U.S.A. flag bearer. But Hamlin was chosen as flag bearer in a tiebreaker.

In a tweet posted on Thursday, Davis accused Team USA of acting “dishonorably” after Hamlin bagged the role through a coin toss.

“I am an American and when I won the 1000m in 2010 I became the first American to 2-peat in that event. Team USA dishonorably tossed a coin to decide its 2018 flag bearer [sic].”

“No problem. I can wait until 2022,” he added.

Davis also referenced Black History Month in his tweet.

The two Olympic medal winners tied 4-4, according to the Associated Press, after votes were counted from the eight different sports federations that have a say in the matter of flag bearer.

Hansen had told NBC that he intended to skip the ceremony in order to rest.

“Opening Ceremony is one of my favorite days from the past two Olympic Games I’ve competed in, but at the same time, you know, I remember the next day, my legs were just a little stiff, my lower back was a little sore, so, you know, I think I might skip it this time around,” he said.

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