Originally Posted by Docjoque
Actually, most of the other members or TEAM USA have bitched about Davis. Joey Cheek is about the only one that I haven't heard say anything detrimental, but he's suck a nice guy and class act, i wouldn't expect him to. Casey Fitzrandolph had many choice words for Davis, probably even harsher than Hedrick's. USA coaches have also laid into him. Your either need to do more TIVO'ing, or surf the web a bit more. Davis is no favorite among his teammates or coaches. If you guys wnat to like him and be an apologist for him, go for it. The facts are what they are.
Thing is, speed skating is an individual sport, as are alpine racing, figure skating, luge, ski jumping, nordic combined, etc. And while there are a few events that force these individuals into a team situation (e.g. team sprints, team ski jumping), these athletes are used to having an individual dynamic.
Furthermore, in speed skating the whole "team unity" thing is a façade put up for the Olympics and World Championships. Most of the time, these guys are on their own during the competition season. While they receive support from the U.S. Speed Skating Association, they aren't a "team" with regard to things like travel, training, lodging, etc. Even the U.S. Ski Team has more of a "team" aspect to it, even though they, too, are comeptitors in an individual mould.
So speed skaters like Davis and Hedrick normally don't have to deal with each other for prolonged periods of time, like the Olympic fortnight. Add to that the spectacle brewed up by the media, who try to make mountains out of molehills (e.g. this kind of tension happens all over the sporting world, in all sports). In this case, NBC chose to rub salt in the David-Hedrick situation - another case of the U.S. media trying to make the news, rather than report it.
Frankly, I don't buy into this false sense of "Team USA" that people glom onto for the Olympics. Yes, the USOC is giving all of these athletes a common uniform for ceremonies, but that's about it. Some are more beholden to the USOC because their sports don't enjoy the corporate sponsors of alpine skiing or figure skating, but that doesn't mean they subscribe to the whole "we're a team, all for one, one for all" manifesto.
These athletes go to the Olympics to perform in their sports: they know what works for them, and aren't likely to change their strategy to appease a false notion of "team" because that's what the media wants. So for Shani Davis, it means being a one-man-island, compatriots-be-damned racer. While it may not be the most attractive or media-savvy way to go about things, you can't deny that his abilities are formidable.
Just my $0.02 - your mileage may vary.