Shani Davis is an American former professional speed skater. At 16, Davis was invited to Lake Placid, New York, to participate in a development program for young speed skaters. After training there for a year, Davis decided to pursue his Olympic dreams and moved to Marquette, Michigan, to further his training.
At the 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy, Davis became the first African American athlete to win a gold medal in an individual event at the Olympic Winter Games, winning the speedskating 1000 meter event. He also won a silver medal in the 1500 meter event. At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Canada, he repeated the feat, becoming the first man to successfully defend the 1000 meters and repeating as the 1500 meter silver medalist. He has won six World Single Distance Championships titles, three at 1500 meters and another three at 1000 meters. He has won ten career Overall World Cup titles, six at 1000 meters and four at 1500 meters. His 58 career individual victories on the ISU Speed Skating World Cup circuit (through March 2014) place him second all-time among men.Davis has set a total of nine world records.
Davis inspired the creation of DC Inner City Excellence in Washington, DC. He continues to support and encourage youth affiliated with the DC-ICE program.Davis announced his retirement from skating in November 2019.