A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece profiling speedskater Shani Davis, and I talked about how a great performance at the 2014 Winter Olympics Games in Sochi could earn him the status of the best American speedskater of all time along with Eric Heiden.
That would be quite an achievement, but the fact that he is the first African-American athlete to have won an individual medal at the Winter Olympics is a story on its own.
Along with the success he has already had and could have in the upcoming games, Davis is in a position to pave the way for future African-American Winter Olympians by simply winning medals and being an example for young African-American kids, showing them that they can be the best in the world in a sport that may not traditionally appeal to young African-Americans.
Davis already works to inspire young African-American children to achieve great things academically and as speedskaters through his DC-Inter City Excellence program. DC-ICE is an urban speedskating club that promotes and runs a number of year-round events, ranging from short-track speedskating meets to a ice-a-thons.
It is clear through this program that Davis hands-on in promoting speedskating to young African-Americans while serving as a role model for them both on and off the rink. With the success he has had and is likely to have in Sochi, Davis is paving the way for future African-American Winter Olympians.