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2018 Winter Olympics: Who is Shani Davis?

Shani Davis began the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics with some controversy when he sat out of the opening ceremony. According to The Associated Press, Davis lost a coin flip to carry the U.S. flag at the ceremony. The coin flip followed a tied 4-4 vote among fellow Team USA athletes, who voted between Davis and luger Erin Hamlin. Hamilin won the toss.

>> Read more trending news 

The speedskater reacted to the results on his Twitter page that has since been made private.

“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,” Davis tweeted, according to CNN. He included the hashtags 

#BlackHistoryMonth2018 and #PyeongChang2018 in his tweet.

Related: Shani Davis rips coin flip to determine US flag bearer at Olympics

“He was not planning to march in the first place, but he reconsidered when he was faced with the possibility of being the flagbearer,” a U.S. speedskating team spokesman told CNN.

Davis has not spoken to reporters after his training session Saturday, according to The AP.

Tweets aside, Davis, who is competing in the 1500m and 1000m in Pyeongchang, is already a four-time Olympian.

About Davis

Davis made his first Olympic team in 2002, joining the short-track team as an alternate, but he didn’t race. Born in Chicago, the 35 yea-old learned how to roller skate when he was 2. He did compete in the 2006 Torino games, where he made his official debute and won the 1000m gold. The win made him the first black athlete from any country to win an individual gold medal at the Winter Games. He also won the 1500m silver.

In the 2010 games, Davis repeated his wins, taking home gold in the 1000m and silver in the 1500m. After a lack luster 2014 appearance, Davis hopes to have a good run at the 2018 Olympics, which he has said will likely be his last.

Other interesting facts:

  • Set world record in 1000m in 2009
  • Likes to play “World of Warcraft” when not training or competing

2018 Winter Olympics: Who is Mirai Nagasu?

Mirai Nagasu made history in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games as the first American woman to land a triple axel. The Montebello, California, native returned to the 2018 games after making her debut at the 2010 Games in Vancouver.

>> Read more trending news 

Nagasu started skating at age 5, when her parents took her to an ice rink instead of a golf course on a rainy day. Earlier in her career, Nagasu was comparted to Tara Lipinski and Michelle Kwan. When she was 14, she won the gold medal at the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, making her the second-youngest female skater to have that title.

She took home the silver medal at the Championships in 2010, earning her a spot at the Vancouver Olympics. Although she finished third at the 2014 Championships, the U.S. Figure Skating federation placed Ashley Wagner, who finished fourth, on the Sochi Olympics team.

Other interesting facts:

  • Studying international business at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs 
  • Has three rescue dogs named Lincoln, Liberty and Lexi
  • Scuba-certified

Photos: 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics - Day 5

Take a look at the highlights from the latest competitions during the 2018 Peyongchang Games.

Olympic figure skater Yura Min suffers wardrobe malfunction, handles it with class

What would one of the largest international events be without a few wardrobe malfunctions here and there? Yura Min of South Korea might have an idea as her Olympics debut kicked off with some inconvenience.

>> Mirai Nagasu first U.S. women’s skater to land triple axel at Olympics

The moment that would leave anyone horrified began only seconds into her performance with ice dancing partner Alexander Gamelin when the top of her costume disconnected in the back.

>> French skater takes Beyoncé to the ice at Olympics

One Twitter user thought this was the sporting world’s annual televised wardrobe malfunction.

>> On WPXI.com: Complete coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics

Min handled the setback like a true Olympian, adjusting her clothing and continuing her performance.

>> Read more trending news 

“I didn’t stop,” she told the Detroit Free Press. “I went from the beginning to the end. I didn’t stop because you get a deduction if you stop in the middle of a program. In my head, I was thinking, ‘Is it better to stop and fix it and get the deduction or keep going?'”

She and Gamelin came in ninth out of 10 teams. A few of the adjustments cost them some points.

>> On Rare.us: Marvel teamed up with the U.S. Olympic ski team to produce some truly heroic suits

“Anytime she brought her shoulders in, it came down,” Gamelin said. “I only noticed it halfway through. During our twizzle, it came off her shoulder, all of the way. She had to stop and pull it back up, and that cost us a bunch of points. It wasn’t because we were skating poorly.”

(H/T HuffPost)

Marvel made some truly heroic suits for the U.S. Olympic ski team

Members of the U.S. Olympic ski team have some iconic costumes to help them on their path to victory at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

>> 2018 Winter Olympics: Who is Lindsey Vonn?

They’ve always been heroes, but now they’re superheroes!

Thanks to a partnership with Disney’s Marvel property, the athletes have been kitted out in outfits based on famous Marvel superheroes like Captain Marvel and Captain America. And, as you can see for yourself, they look pretty heroic.

>> Olympic figure skater Yura Min suffers wardrobe malfunction, handles it with class

Here’s Lindsey Vonn rocking a Captain America suit:

>> On WPXI.com: Complete coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics

And here’s Laurenne Ross in her Captain Marvel get-up:

>> 2018 Winter Olympics: Who is Mikaela Shiffrin?

And here’s Mikaela Shiffrin wearing the same thing:

The suits are a collaboration between Spyder, the official apparel provider for the United States Ski Team through 2020, and Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media.

>> On Rare.us: Meet the Team USA luge racing star who’s heating up the 2018 Winter Olympics

“We’re thrilled to be working with Marvel in bringing their superheroes to life with the U.S. Ski Team and beyond,” said Brady Collings, vice president of marketing for Spyder, per The Mary Sue. “Given Marvel’s inspirational impact around the world, we have an extraordinary opportunity to celebrate the U.S. Ski Team as well as our ambassadors in a broad-reaching way.”

>> Read more trending news 

“Avengers: Infinity War” is scheduled to be released in the United States on May 4, 2018, in IMAX and 3D. The sequel is scheduled to be released May 3, 2019.

NBC apologizes for comment about Japan, South Korea during Olympics opening ceremony

NBC contributor Josh Cooper Ramo ran into some controversy during the 2018 Winter Olympics after making a comment about the relationship between Japan and South Korea.

>> Olympic figure skater Yura Min suffers wardrobe malfunction, handles it with class

As the Washington Post reported, Ramo said on live television that “every Korean will tell you that Japan as a cultural and technological and economic example has been so important to their own transformation.” The comment was made after Ramo spoke of Japan’s 35-year occupation of the region.

>> Mirai Nagasu first U.S. women’s figure skater to land triple axel at Olympics

>> On WPXI.com: Complete coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics

Many were upset with the comments, which seemed to ignore various crimes against committed against the Korean people. These included, as the New York Times pointed out, forcing Korean women into sex work.

>> On Rare.us: America first? Not according to this country’s Winter Olympics fans

Several viewers called the comment callous.

NBC anchor Carolyn Manno apologized in an on-air statement:

>> Read more trending news 

"During our coverage of the Parade of Nations on Friday, we said it was notable that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the trip to Korea for the Olympics, 'representing Japan, a country which occupied Korea from 1910 to 1945, but every Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural, technological and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation.' We understand the Korean people were insulted by these comments and we apologize."

French skater takes Beyoncé to the ice at Olympics

Call it Beyoncé On Ice.

>> Read more trending news

A French figure skater took advantage of a new rule allowing competitors to perform to music with lyrics during the Winter Olympics, as Maé-Bérénice Méité skated to a medley of hits by Beyoncé.

>> More Olympics coverage at WPXI.com

Méité, decked out in a black-and-gold sequined jumpsuit, skated to a medley of Beyoncé’s hits, including “Run the World (Girls)” and “Halo,” Cosmopolitan reported.

The International Skating Union adopted rules allowing music with lyrics after the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, The New York Times reported. Traditionally, skaters could only perform to instrumental versions of songs, Billboard reported.

Méité, 23, said she picked Beyoncé for her routine because “(Her music) is crazy, wild, and fun," she told the magazine. “You can just dance to it, and that's how I am.”

Méité,  a four-time national champ, had a few rough spots during her performance Sunday, including a tumble during the middle of the program, but her choice of music certainly stood out.

She also performed her Beyoncé ice skating short program in January at the European Figure Skating Championships in Moscow.

2018 Winter Olympics: Who is Red Gerard?

Red Gerard seemed to be an afterthought heading into Sunday’s final run of men’s slopestyle at the 2018 Winter Olympics, ranked 11th out of the 12 finalists. Instead, the diminutive 17-year-old from Silverthorne, Colorado, delivered a sparkling effort, scoring 87.16 points to edge Canadians Max Parrot and Mark McMorris to win the gold medal. It was the United States’ first gold medal of the Pyeongchang Olympics. 

>> Read more trending news

So who is this guy?

Redmond Gerard stands barely 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs 117 pounds. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on June 29, 2000. He is the sixth of seven children; he has four brothers and two sisters. One of his sisters, Tieghan Gerard, has blogged about food in Half Baked Harvest since 2012. In September she published “Halfbaked Harvest Cookbook: Recipes from My Barn in the Mountains.”

>> More Olympics coverage at WPXI.com

Tieghan and the rest of her siblings, along with her parents, are in South Korea for the Olympics.

According to The Denver Post, Gerard showed up in South Korea like “an accidental tourist,” insisting that “I honestly don’t know what the Olympics is.”

His father, Conrad Gerard, misplaced a ticket to his son’s final run but managed to talk his way into the grandstands.

“I was jerking around with tickets. What can you say?” Conrad Gerard told the Post. “So what if I missed the first run, which I did. I just got here a little late. But I saw what counted. And it was surreal. I mean, are you kidding me? My son just won an Olympic gold medal.”

Red Gerard’s gold-medal run included a backslide triple cork 1440 that wowed the judges.

It was culmination of a career that began when he was 2 years old. When his family moved to Colorado, Gerard’s career took off. He had a sponsorship deal by the time he was 11, the Post reported.

His family built a snowboard park in his backyard, but it was Sage Kotsenburg’s gold-medal winning effort in the men’s snowboard slopestyle final at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games that proved to be Gerard’s biggest inspiration. 

“I was like, this can not be right,” he told NBC Sports in 2017. “He won, and he was doing some crazy grabs. That’s what really got my mind flowing on style stuff and making snowboarding different, to be honest.”

Gerard isn’t finished competing yet. He will be in action Feb. 20 in the qualifying round for the Big Air snowboarding competition, which is making its Olympic debut. If he gets to the final, Gerard will compete for a medal on Feb. 23.

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