American Olympic gold medalist Shani Davis was born on Aug. 13, 1982, in Chicago, where he began his lifelong practice as a skater. He first learned to roller skate at the age of two.
By the age of four, Davis had mastered roller skating and his coach suggested that he up the ante by switching to ice skating. Davis took his coach’s advice and joined the Evanston Speed Skating Club at 6 years old. After two months of practice, he started competing locally.
Davis began breaking national records early in his career as a speed skater. At 22, he won his third consecutive U.S. All-Around Championship and Regional Qualifier, becoming the first U.S. skater to qualify for all three World Teams during the same season.
At age 27, during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Davis became the first man to be a repeated champion of the Olympic 100m. In 2013, Davis passed 10,000 points for his World Cup career. He is one of three men to do so.
BET Sports News - Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
(Photo: Joern Pollex/Bongarts/Getty Images)