Davis, Hamlin, The Olympics And A Coin.

Erin Hamlin (left) and Shani Davis (right.)

The 2018 Winter Olympics started a few days ago with some preliminary competition taking place before the actual opening ceremonies which happen today.

We always liked the Olympics because we like the idea of competing for one’s country and then at the end of the games, the athletes are there as a group which is supposed to show that sports can bring people together. Yet lately we have begun to grow tired of the Olympics, the corporate sponsorships, the over broad protection of the the name “Olympics,” (don’t you dare hold a “Spelling Olympic” in school as the USOC will come after you) as well as being tired to some extent of the athletes themselves who seem every two years to be more and more self centered and less and less glad to be there and competing. (And we won’t even go into the doping and PED scandals that are consistent throughout the games.)

But we have to say that the self-centeredness of some people has sunk to a new low this year and it involves two US Olympians – speed skater Shani Davis and luge competitor Erin Hamlin. Both are well respected and Olympic medalists in their respective sports.

When it came to picking the flag bearer for the US Team as it enters into the stadium during the opening ceremonies, both Davis, a black male, and Hamlin, a white female, were amongst the finalists for the honor.

With the vote tied, a coin toss determined the flag bearer.

Hamlin and Davis were among eight nominees for the flag-bearer role, and athletes from each of the eight winter sports federations — bobsled and skeleton, ski and snowboarding, figure skating, curling, biathlon, hockey, speedskating and luge — represented those nominees in balloting that took place Wednesday night.

Eventually, the final vote was deadlocked at 4-4. Hamlin won a coin toss, which was the predetermined method of picking a winner if all else failed in the athlete-led process. The U.S. Olympic Committee confirmed the tie, and that voters knew in the event of a tie, the coin toss would take place.

So there ya go. Erin Hamlin is the flag bearer and most people would have been happy for her and said “congratulations!”

Not Shani Davis.

Davis tweeted out:

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

— Shani Davis (@ShaniDavis) February 8, 2018

Yep. Davis went there and played the race card because a coin must be racist or something.

The perfect personification of “‘I’ in ‘TEAM’,” we doubt that Davis would have said a word if the coin toss had fallen his way.

Yet it is the racial component of his tweet that bothers us and many others. If Davis wants to be making a statement on equality, shouldn’t he be celebrating the fact that a woman is the flag bearer?

Nah. Of course not.

That would make too much sense.

Unfortunately, Davis’ being a selfish jerk is overtaking Hamlin’s joy.

Hours before the tweet was posted, Hamlin was beaming about the opportunity. The four-time Olympian told the story about how her parents, Ron and Eileen Hamlin, always wrestle with the decision about whether to spend the money for high-priced tickets to the opening ceremony — and in the end, they always go to see their daughter march into the stadium with her U.S. teammates.

“I think they’re going to be really glad that they made that decision,” Hamlin said. “They’re really pumped. I’m sure my brothers will be. We’ve grown up watching the Olympics and we’re always like, ‘Who’s going to be carrying the flag?’ And to actually be that person is insane.”

There is some insanity to this. We are sure that from Hamlin’s point of view, the path that has taken her to this well deserved honor is “insane.”

For Davis, it is insane that someone that is a part of TEAM USA is acting so petulant and playing the race card. As a 35 year old man, you’d think he’d have more class and manners, but alas it appears he does not.

What a shame.

Maybe there are some reruns of The Andy Griffith show that will be on during his races and perhaps even the Olympics themselves.

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