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Fri, 08.13.1982

Shani Davis, Speed Skater born

Shani Davis

*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. Davis was the first American to make two junior world teams in one year through the Evanston Speed Skating Club. He placed 11th overall at the 2000 World Junior Short Track Championships and 10th overall at the 2000 World Junior Speed Skating Championships as his top two accomplishments.

Davis briefly attended Northern Michigan University and cites his mother as the 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 by earning spots on World Teams in both disciplines, but 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 four consecutive times in World Cups 3 and 4.

Also, during the 2004-05 teams, Davis was a U.S. Short Track World Team member that won a bronze medal in the relay event at the World Short Track Championships. Davis joins an elite group of speed skaters representing their countries in different Olympic Games as long-track and short-track speed skaters. In the 2006 Winter Olympics, he became the 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.

To become a Professional Athlete



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