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Sochi shocker: Shani Davis fails to medal in the 1,000 meters

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

This is why nobody has done it.

Nobody's won three straight golds in men's speed skating in Olympics history -- because it's just so tough to remain on top over the course of eight years.

Shani Davis, a favorite to win gold in the men's 1000m final, failed to even find the podium Wednesday. The 31-year-old from Chicago finished 1,000 meters men's speed skating event in eighth place, crossing in 1:09.12.

"This one hurts me a lot but kudos to the people who were able to go out there and achieve their dreams," Davis told reporters in the post-race press conference.

It's undoubtedly a disappointing finish for Davis, and certainly one of the more surprising outcomes of these Olympics so far.

"I have to live with this rest of my life," Davis said. "I just had a misfortunate race. ... It might have thrown me off that I opened so fast. I wasn't able to settle in and skate the way I normally would. I have struggled with that in the past, but it was something I never thought would happen under these circumstances."

The Dutch, who are so dominant in speed skating traditionally, won the event. Stefan Groothuis took gold with a time of 1:08.39. Canada's Denny Morrison crossed in 1:08.43, for silver. Michel Mulder of the Netherlands, who took gold a couple of days back in the 500 meters, finished at 1:08.74, surprisingly taking bronze.

American Brian Hansen, who also had medal hopes, finished just behind Davis, ending up ninth with a time of 1:09.21.

According to the Associated Press, Groothuis' win comes in many forms. The 32-year-old -- the oldest winner ever in this event in the Olympics -- has battled depression, and reportedly even mulled suicide in the pass.

"This is so unreal," Groothuis told the media. "I thought Shani was going to better me."
...
He recently discussed how close he came to killing himself.
"I think I was pretty close, and that is pretty shocking to say," he recently told Dutch national broadcaster NOS. "Everyone can create hell in his head. When he gets those kinds of thoughts, everything turns black. Blacker than black."

Amazing comeback story for him.

Amazing story regarding Morrison's silver. He wasn't even supposed to race, originally. His teammate opted to remove himself and allow Morrison to hit the ice. Wow.

For Davis, Sochi competition is not over. He'll still have a chance at gold in the 1,500 meters, an event he's taken silver at in the past two Olympiads.

"Now I have to figure out how to prepare myself the best I can for that 1,500 race," he said. "Since one door closed, hopefully another one opens and I'm able to step in there."

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