Shani Davis remained medal-free after finishing in 11th place in the 1500-meter speedskating event on Feb. 15 at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Davis was hoping to redeem himself after failing to win the 1000-meter race on Feb. 12, which would have made him the first man to win three gold medals in the same Winter Olympic event.
A win in the 1500 would’ve given the 31-year-old Chicago native the fifth gold medal of his career, good enough to tie Olympic legend Eric Heiden for the most individual Winter Olympic gold medals won by an American speedskater. Instead, he’ll leave Sochi with nothing to show for his individual talent.
“I’m very disappointed,” Davis told TV reporters Feb. 15.
According to CBS News, Davis blamed the newly designed Under Armour skinsuits that were provided for USA speedskaters for the Olympics. The entire USA speedskating team actually decided not to wear the new suits on Feb. 15 after everyone failed to win medals in any of the individual speedskating events earlier in the week, CBS News reported.
“The best thing would have been to make sure that these suits were what the people said they were,” Davis told CBS News, “So that we can actually know going into the races instead of finding out on one of the biggest races of our lives.”
Davis wore his old suit from the 2013 World Cup in the 1500 Feb. 15, but it didn’t help him skate any faster. Davis told CBS News that the damage from the new suits had already taken its toll as he had started to second-guess his confidence by then.
“It took its toll,” Davis told CBS News. “I spent energy in ways that I wouldn’t have done normally. I did as much as I could to get myself ready, but I felt defeated.
“Everything went down and I tried to build it up for the 1500. But it’s different when you can go into the 1500 with a medal around your neck instead of going in there with an eighth-place finish.”