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Shani Davis Suggests He Lost Coin Toss For Honor Of Carrying Flag At Olympic Opening Ceremony Because Of Race

Carrying the flag at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics is indeed an honor, and the U.S. Winter Olympic team voted on who should get that particular honor in Pyeonghchang, South Korea this year. After a vote, and a tie-breaking coin toss, it was decided that luger Erin Hamlin would be proudly carrying the banner.

Disappointed speed skater Shani Davis seemed bitter about it in a tweet, boasting his achievements and invoking Black History Month.

There were eight nominees this year for role of flag-bearer at the opening of the 2018 Olympic games. Among them were 31-year-old Luge veteran Erin Hamlin, and another was 39-year-old speed skater Shani Davis.

The vote came down to a tie of 4-4 on Wednesday night, and it had already been pre-determined that there would be a coin toss in the case of a tie. Hamlin won the honor.

The bronze medal winner got the call on Wednesday night and was thrilled. The four-time Olympian, who plans to retire after the 2018 games, says that she and her family always debate about whether or not to spend the money on pricey Opening Ceremony tickets, but always end up going.

She's excited that her family will get to see her in the coveted position of flag-bearer.

"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," she said.

Her teammates are thrilled for her.

"It's one of the coolest things. I tell you what, I can't wait," said Olympian Jayson Terdiman. "I couldn't wait before, but now I can't wait even more. Not just does Erin get to hold that flag, but USA Luge gets to hold that flag. It's so cool. It's a great honor for our small sport."

One person who wasn't thrilled was Davis. A day after the decision was made, he tweeted, "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," he wrote.

Twitter users wondered why the race card was invoked in a coin toss.

"Why are you making a coin toss about racism?" asked one person.

"Sounds like sour grapes to me," said another.

"They obviously used a racist coin," read one snarky comment.

"Shani, you are a great athlete, and I’ll be cheering you on, but would you consider the coin flip dishonorable had you won?" asked another.

Davis hasn’t responded to the backlash he got about the tweet, nor is it clear if he is the one who posted it, or if someone else with access to his Twitter account made the comment.

Fellow speed skater, Joey Mantia, told The Blaze that he doesn't think the final decision was out of line. “We feel strongly toward Shani, and they felt strongly for Erin," he said. “That’s just that.”

Hamlin has remained positive about being chosen and says she and her family are looking forward to the honor. She says she's more nervous about being the flag-bearer than she is about the competition.

"The nerves will be flying for sure," Hamlin admitted. "I slide. That's what I do. Put me at the top of the track, that's my happy place. Walking out in front of a lot of people and even more watching from home, hoping to not trip over my own feet or drop the flag is going to be way more nerve-wracking."

Source: MailOnline, The Blaze
Photo: YouTube

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