Shani Davis Says USA 'Dishonorably Tossed a Coin to Decide Its 2018 Flag Bearer'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2018

This combination of images shows United States' athletes Erin Hamlin, left, and Shani Davis. A tweet posted to the account of Davis is blasting the selection of luge athlete Hamlin as the U.S. flagbearer for the opening ceremony at the Pyeongchang Games. The tweet says the selection was made
Uncredited/Associated Press

American speedskater Shani Davis criticized Team USA's flag-bearer selection process in a tweet Thursday morning.  

After luger Erin Hamlin was chosen as the United States' representative for the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Davis wrote the following:

According to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com), Hamlin and Davis were two of the eight candidates to carry the flag. A 4-4 deadlock in the voting led to a coin flip, which resulted in Hamlin winning the right to be flag-bearer.

The United States Olympic Committee made it known that voters were aware of a coin flip being the final tiebreaker if no majority decision could be reached.

"We feel strongly toward Shani and they felt strongly for Erin. That's just that." U.S. speedskater Joey Mantia said. 

After learning of her selection, Hamlin offered the following, per the AP (h/t ESPN.com): "The nerves will be flying for sure. 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."

Both Davis and Hamlin boast impressive Olympic resumes.

The 35-year-old Davis is now a five-time Olympian who has won two gold medals and two silver medals. At the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy, he became the first African American athlete to win individual gold at the Winter Olympics.

Hamlin, 31, is set to enter her fourth and final Winter Games. She won bronze at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, making her the first American luger to ever medal at the Winter Olympics in singles competition.

The opening ceremony for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics will take place Friday.

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