Host City: Torino, Italy
Venue(s): Lingotto Oval, Torino
Date Started: February 18, 2006
Date Finished: February 18, 2006
Although not the first black skater to compete in the Olympics, Shani Davis was expected to do much better than his 1984 predecessor, Errol Fraser. Davis had won the 2005 World Allround Championships, and in 2004 he had won the 1500 m world title as well. His 2005/2006 record in the 1,000 m was superb, making him the top favorite for the gold. He had taken part in six of nine World Cup races, and won them all (taking the rest off to try and qualify for the US Olympic short track team). In passing, Davis also bettered the world record, which dated from the 2002 Olympics and set it at 1:07.03. The only question mark was his performance at the recent World Sprint Championships, where he had “only” placed 6th and 3rd in the 1000 ms. Races there were won by two-time Olympic runner-up Jan Bos and 2001 World Champion Jeremy Wotherspoon. Other contenders were World Sprint Champion and 500 m winner Joey Cheek and 2003 and 2004 World Champion Erben Wennemars.
Davis was the first of the favorites to skate, with 5,000 m champion Chad Hedrick leading at that moment. Skating behind Wotherspoon for the first lap and a half, Davis unleashed his usual fast final lap, to finish in 1:08.89. Davis’s relatively slow start left room for Cheek and former world record holder Lee Gyu-Hyeok, as both went neck-on-neck for the first 600 m. But neither could match Davis’s closing 26.6 lap, and finished at 1:09.16 and 1:09.37. The remaining pair featured two Dutchmen, Bos and Wennemars. The two went off more conservatively, but met with the same fate as Cheek, losing time in the final lap. Eventually, Wennemars edged ahead of Bos and narrowly took the bronze medal ahead of Lee. Cheek announced he would donate his silver medal bonus ($15,000) to the “Right to Play” charity, which he had also done with his 500 m bonus.
|1||Shani Davis||23||United States||USA||Gold||1:08.89||16.96||42.29|
|2||Joey Cheek||26||United States||USA||Silver||1:09.16||16.29||41.55|
|4||Lee Gyu-Hyeok||27||South Korea||KOR||1:09.37||16.29||41.55|
|6||Chad Hedrick||28||United States||USA||1:09.45||17.07||42.60|
|9||Casey FitzRandolph||31||United States||USA||1:09.59||16.58||41.91|
|14||Mikael Flygind Larsen||23||Norway||NOR||1:10.13||17.16||42.87|
|17||Choi Jae-Bong||25||South Korea||KOR||1:10.23||16.70||42.50|
|22||Lee Gang-Seok||20||South Korea||KOR||1:10.52||16.39||42.33|
|24||Mun Jun||23||South Korea||KOR||1:10.66||16.87||42.84|