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Shani Davis Biography

Birth Place:
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Olympic speed skater

Fast Facts

  • Named for a Swahili word that translates in English to a mix of "light" and "weight
  • " Began roller-skating on the south side of Chicago at the age of 2, switching to ice-skating by age 6 at the suggestion of a coach
  • Was an alternate on the short-track speed skating team at the 2002 Winter Olympic games in Salt Lake City
  • Inspired the character named Frozone (voiced by Samuel L
  • Jackson) in the 2004 animated film The Incredibles
  • Skated to back-to-back World Allround titles in 2005 and 2006 as well as the 1000m World Championship in 2007 and 2008
  • Won a gold medal (the first ever by a black athlete from any nation) in the 1000m and silver medal in the 1500m at the 2006 Winter Olympic games in Turin, Italy
  • Awarded the Oscar Mathisen Award in 2005 and 2009, becoming the fourth American to win
  • Duplicated his 2006 Olympics haul at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, winning a gold medal in the 1000m and a silver medal in the 1500m
  • Became the all-time leader in World Cup points in the 2016 to 2017 season, exceeding Canadian sprinter Jeremy Wotherspoon
  • Inspired the creation of DC Inner City Excellence, which seeks to inspire and empower skaters in the DC area


  • Ambre Anderson -- Cousin
  • Curt Anderson -- Cousin
  • Reginald Shuck -- Father
  • Cherie Davis -- Mother