The first controversy of the Winter Olympics -- and it's over the flag

10 February, 2018, 04:37 | Author: Laura Christensen
  • Shani Davis

From banners on Oneida County buildings to postings on social media, many have been celebrating the selection of Erin Hamlin as the flag bearer for the U.S. Olympic team at Friday's opening ceremonies in South Korea. A coin flip was then used to break the tie, per United States Olympic Committee rules.

"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". "@TeamUSA dishonorably tossed a coin to decide its 2018 flag bearer", he tweeted.

Hamlin - who will race in her fifth and final Games - and Davis were among eight nominees for the flag bearer role.

So, Davis planned to skip the Games' opening ceremony Friday.

"Shani, you're one hell of an athlete and more than qualified to be the flag bearer", replied one user.

A USA speed skating spokesman said Davis had not originally planned to march in the parade of nations later today, but would have made an exception if he had been chosen as flag-bearer.


Meanwhile, some people close to Davis are questioning whether the aforementioned tweet actually came from the athlete.

Hamlin told The Associated Press she learned of the opportunity through a phone call with Alan Ashley, chef de mission, on Wednesday evening: "He told me and I was like, 'Wait, officially?'"

The 35-year-old became the first African-American athlete to win an individual Winter Olympics gold medal in 2006. Team members voted. When that vote ended in a tie, the choice was left to a coin toss, according to reports.

Enter the coin toss, Davis said.

Davis became embroiled in one of the Winter Olympics' first major talking points when a post from his Twitter account hit the internet on Thursday night.

She also said the honor is extra special because her peers recognize her talent and place among the team. "They're really pumped. I'm sure my brothers will be". He's now a five-time Olympian, with two gold medals and two silver medals in his collection.

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