Winter Olympics 2018

US defends flag bearer process after coin toss

2018-02-09 10:34
Shani Davis (Twitter)

Pyeongchang - The US Olympic Committee defended its method of selecting a Games flag bearer after speed skater Shani Davis expressed his anger at losing on the flip of a coin and suggested it was racially motivated.

African-American Davis, the top medal winner among the US team at Pyeongchang, missed out to luger Erin Hamlin for the prestigious role in Friday's opening ceremony.

Voting from one US representative from each of the eight winter sports federations was deadlocked 4-4 between Hamlin - the first US luge singles medalist - and Davis. In such cases a coin flip settles the issue.

Davis, a two-time 1 000m champion, took issue at how he lost out and noted it came during what in America is "Black History Month".

"I am an American and when I won the 1000m in 2010 I became the first American to 2-peat in that event. @TeamUSA dishonorably tossed a coin to decide its 2018 flag bearer. No problem. I can wait until 2022. #BlackHistoryMonth2018#PyeongChang2018."

USOC spokesperson Mark Jones told a press conference: "The Team USA flag bearer is selected using a detailed selection procedure that is fully driven by athletes.

"As is always the case, there were many worthy candidates for this year's honour and we look forward to having four-time Olympian Erin Hamlin lead our delegation into the opening ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018."

Davis, 35, is one of only three five-time Olympians in the US line-up.

He has 1 500m silver from Turin and Vancouver as well as his 1 000m golds. 

It's not the first flap involving Davis at an Olympics. He and US speed skating were at odds over his status for the team pursuit event debuting at the 2006 Turin Olympics.

US team-mate Chad Hedrick ripped Davis for not taking part, saying it cost the Americans a gold medal. They finished sixth.

Read more on:    winter olympics 2018


Read News24’s Comments Policy


Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.