Saturday, February 18, 2006

Shani Davis Could Have Raced....says Eric Heiden

By Robert H. Kelly
Five time Olympic gold medalist Eric Heiden stated in an interview with that speed skater Shani Davis could have participated in the team pursuit event with very little trouble.

That's a tough call. I think it would have been very easy to participate and come back well rested for the 1000m, and maybe even to use that race as training. The biggest thing is experience. He missed the opportunity to race here at the World Cup event in December, so other skaters have the sense of what it's like to race here -- at race speed. In the pursuit, you're skating fast laps, so it would have given him a sense of what it's going to be like for the 1000m. It just would have helped to get a race under his belt, since he wasn't here in December.

Heiden, who is a USA team physician, further elaborated on Davis’ decision.

From a fatigue standpoint, I can’t imagine that a race on Wednesday, only one round, would limit his ability to race in the 1000m on Saturday. That’s a long time. Physically, I think he was more capable of doing both. And he missed a great opportunity to test the ice at race speed.

What does Eric Heiden know? He only won five gold medals in speed skating in the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. He is the team physician for the USA speed skating team, and without a doubt knows more about speed skating that anyone on the planet.

He is the best speed skater in the history of the sport and he won his five gold medals on an outdoor track that was built for the 1932 Olympics.

Could Shnai Davis have accomplished the same feat?

The world will never know, but I think not.


Anonymous said...

Heiden was the best, no doubt about that. But many today probably don 't know who he is or what he does now.

Anonymous said...

Eric Heiden stated that Davis could have raced BEFORE the 1000 meter. AFTER the 1000 meter, when Davis only won by a quarter of a second over Cheek, who won the 500 AND participated in the team pursuit, Heiden backtracked and said that Davis made the right decision. Why? BECAUSE HAD DAVIS RACED IN THE PURSUIT, HE MOST CERTAINLY WOULD HAVE LOST. Further, had Davis raced the pursuit, they make the semi - finals AND the finals instead of getting eliminated in the quarterfinals. Translation: Davis and Cheek don't even place. The female favorite in the 1000 participated in the pursuit, and not only did her team not win the gold in the pursuit, but she only got the bronze in the 1000, saying afterwards that her legs were tired. Davis' "selfishness" got not only himself a gold but Cheek a silver. The only person who cares is Hedrick, because, well, Davis getting a gold and Cheek getting a silver benefits him in no way. Right?