Speed skating-American Davis eyeing 2018 not retirement

Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:20am EST
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By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) - Reigning 1,000 meter Olympic speed skating champion Shani Davis has dismissed reports he is set to retire after next month's Sochi Games and hinted at competing in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018.

The 31-year-old American, the first black athlete to win an individual Winter Olympics gold medal, will try to claim his third straight 1,000m title in Russia and said his love of competition suggested he had more years left in the sport.

"I'm as hungry to compete and win now as I've ever been, maybe even more so," Davis told Reuters via email.

"There are still many records and milestones I'd like to achieve, in Sochi and beyond, and I'll keep competing so long as the desire is there.

"Training for speed skating is exhausting, mentally and physically, but the wisdom of age and experience enables me to adapt my training to my circumstances.

"Funny, I keep reading in the media that Sochi is my last Olympics. That might be more dramatic for storylines, but I wouldn't say that at all. Maybe Sochi will be my last Olympics and maybe it won't."

The Chicago-born Davis heads to Russia also attempting to add to his two 1500m silver medals that he won at the Turin and Vancouver Games.

He is in strong form having won three of the four 1000m World Cup races this season and was victorious at the U.S. Trials in Salt Lake City last month, winning both the 1,000 and 1,500 titles and also qualifying for the 500m.   Continued...

Dec 31, 2013; Kearns, UT, USA; First place finisher Shani Davis after he competes in the men's 1500m during the U.S. Olympic speedskating trials at Utah Olympic Oval. Mandatory Credit: Jim Urquhart-USA TODAY Sports