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*Shani Davis was born on this date in 1982. He is a Black world-class speed skater (retired).
From Chicago, Illinois, Davis grew up in Hyde Park and was raised by his mother Cherie. He began roller-skating with her at the age of two, and due to boredom and the advice of a coach he began skating at the age of six. Through the Evanston Speed Skating Club Davis was the first American to make two junior world teams in one year and placing 11th overall at the 2000 World Junior Short Track Championships and 10th overall at 2000 World Junior Speed skating Championships as top two accomplishments.
Davis briefly attended Northern Michigan University and cites his mother as strongest influence. Tae Kwon Do, aquarium building, and fish... would like to eventually become a marine biologist... favorite music is rap while top movie choice is "Shaft." In 2003, for the second season in a row, not only did Davis make history earning spots on World Teams in both disciplines, he also made his first World Sprint Team earning two silver medals. In the 2005 Fall World Cup 3, Davis set a new world record in the 1000 meters and went on to win the 1000 meters a total of four consecutive times in World Cups 3 and 4.
Also during the 2004-05 teams, Davis was a member of the U.S. Short Track World Team that won a bronze medal in the relay event at the World Short Track Championships. Davis joins an elite group of speed skaters who have represented their countries in different Olympic Games as a long track speed skater and short track speed skater. In the 2006 Winter Olympics he became first Black to win an individual Gold Medal, the only skater to record a time below 1:09 that day. Davis lives in Alberta, Calgary.
Davis announced his retirement from skating in November 2019.