by Ralph Routon
Shani Davis, who had made more noise with his mouth and his negativism than with his skates in the early days of the 2010 Winter Olympics, changed all that Wednesday night with a stirring final lap to pull out his second straight gold medal in the men's long-track speedskating 1,000 meters with a time of 1 minute, 8.94 seconds.
Chad Hedrick, Davis' rival but not friend, also skated a strong race in his two-man heat and came away with the bronze in 1:09.32, perhaps helped by chasing South Korean Mo Tae-Bum, who took the silver in 1:09.12.
Davis was 0.34 of a second behind Mo's pace after 200 meters and 0.26 behind at 600 meters, but found another gear on the last lap. His time was well off his world record, but that didn't matter as he skated a victory lap and hugged teammates and coaches in the Richmond Olympic Oval.
Afterward, Davis and Hedrick set aside their personal differences and shared in carrying a large U.S. flag to the podium for the flower ceremony.
It's the second gold of the day for the United States, which now has 12 medals overall (four gold, three silver, five bronze).