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Shani Davis will not compete in every individual speedskating event at Olympics

January 27, 2010 | 10:45 am

Shani American speedskater Shani Davis, who is favored to win multiple gold medals at next month's Winter Olympic Games, will not be competing in all five individual events.

Davis had initially planned to become the first American since Eric Heiden to skate in all five individual events. However, a U.S. speedskating official told the Associated Press today that Davis backed out of the 10,000 meters before the Jan. 17 entry deadline. Jonathan Kuck will take Davis' place in the 10,000 meters.

"I'm sure Shani knew already that doing all five was a big thing," said Guy Thibault, high-performance director at U.S. speedskating. "Looking realistically at his chances of doing good in that distance, he didn't really feel it was essential to skate."

Davis, who became the first black athlete to win an individual Winter Olympics gold medal in 2006, is the favorite in the 1,500 and 1,000 meters. He is considered as having an outside chance at earning a medal in the 500 and 5,000 meters.

-- Austin Knoblauch

Photo: Shani Davis. Credit: George Frey / Associated Press