By Robert H. Kelly
Chad Hedrick was interviewed by Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today this morning. They discussed his bronze medal performance in the 1500 meters and the “difficulty” between him and fellow USA speed skater Shani Davis.
Hedrick praised Davis and even said he was happy for Davis’ silver medal performance.
He stated that he and Davis have different views on things, and he felt betrayed by Davis’ refusal to participate in the team pursuit.
After the interview, Lauer said that Davis was also invited by NBC to appear and chose to decline.
After Davis’ actions in the post race press conference yesterday, there is no wonder he chose to decline the interview. He cannot seem to get the idea that you must present a positive image to the public in order to be viewed in a positive light.
I am not saying that NBC has the best coverage of the Olympics. It does treat athletes and teams in different ways. However, they are the main media source for people in the United States on the Winter Olympics Many of those same people will take what is presented by NBC as gospel.
Many of the posts on this site and others are defending Davis and chastising Hedrick. I just don’t see the logic of the views. Davis is a loner and has alienated himself from his fellow USA speed skaters. For him to say it would have been nice to get a handshake from Hedrick after his victory sounded like a desperate attempt to salvage some dignity and perhaps to be considered part of the team.
In order to be part of a team, you need to embrace the team concept. Being a part of the team means contributing to the team effort, living in the same area of the Olympic Village as your teammates, supporting all your teammates, and placing the goals and objectives of the team first in one's priorities. That is what being part of a team is about.
If Davis really had a change of heart, and wants to be part of the team, he needs to step up and redeem himself in the eyes of his “teammates.”
The post race press conference yesterday and the NBC interview today would have been a perfect opportunity to do that.
He CHOSE not to participate in the team pursuit. He CHOSE to bring up the conflict at the press conference. He CHOSE not to participate in an interview with NBC. He had the free will to make those choices.
To continue to put forth the negative attitude and behavior he has exhibited in Turin, it is obvious to many that his CHOICES are not reflecting positively on him.
As I have stated before. He just doesn’t get it. His supporters just don’t get it. I guess they never will.