Shani Davis Embracing Olympic Spotlight After Less Prominent Role At Prior Games
U.S. speedskater Shani Davis was a "star during the last two Olympics," but he now "finally is embracing such a role as he prepares" for the Sochi Games, according to Jared Hopkins of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Davis' relationship with U.S. Speedskating "remains frosty -- he still prohibits his biography on its website and finds his own sponsors -- but it hardly matters," as he "enjoys incredible popularity overseas in places such as the Netherlands." Davis said that his life is "headed in the right direction," as he is "featured in McDonald's commercials and promotional material on NBC." During the Olympic Trials, his two "chatty media appearances lasted more than 12 minutes." He "even plans to compete in team pursuit in these Games." Davis: "It's my time. I'm going to try to take advantage of it and share myself and my story with the world as much as I can without it interfering with what I have to do." Former U.S. speedskater Apolo Ohno said, "We've always wanted to see Shani grow. Finally, Shani Davis is understanding that this is what the total package of becoming a champion is all about -- not just results, but everything that comes along with it" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/19).
MANCUSO'S WAY: OUTSIDE magazine's Grayson Schaffer in a cover story profiles U.S. skier Julia Mancuso and writes she is the "Olympic champion you'd want to drink a beer with." The Lake Tahoe, Calif., native "trains for skiing by surfing and paddleboarding, appears untroubled by minutiae, and then ... comes through when it matters." Going into Sochi, most of the talk around the U.S. Ski team has "focused on Mikaela Shiffrin, the 18-year-old American phenom, and Mancuso’s training partner Lindsey Vonn." Maybe it is "because of Mancuso’s relaxed demeanor that observers continue to underestimate her," but to hear her tell it, the "laissez-faire attitude isn’t a strategy; it’s all she knows" (OUTSIDE, 2/'14 issue).