Hamlin picked as Team USA flagbearer

by Steven Clarke February 10, 2018, 2:05
Hamlin picked as Team USA flagbearer

Out of the 244 American athletes making the journey to PyeongChang, only one will have the honor of holding the flag during the Opening Ceremony's Parade of Nations: Erin Hamlin, a four-time Olympian in luge. Among those 10 is the man who, in 2006, became the first black athlete to win gold in an individual event at the Winter Olympics.

The US Olympic Committee has defended its method of selecting a Games flag bearer for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeonchang after speed skater Shani Davis expressed his anger at losing on the flip of a coin and suggested it was racially motivated.

Hamlin told The Associated Press she learned of the opportunity through a phone call with Alan Ashley, chef de mission, on Wednesday evening: "He told me and I was like, 'Wait, officially?'" A tie, per USOC rules, is broken by a coin flip. She then won out in a coin toss.

A coin toss to decide the flag bearer went in favor of veteran luger Erin Hamlin after the final vote among the eight USA winter sports federations ended deadlocked at 4-4. The 2018 Winter Olympics marks Davis' fifth Olympic appearance, although he left Salt Lake City after the Opening Ceremony in 2002 to compete in the Junior World Championships in Italy.

Hamlin and Davis were the two final choices (among eight nominees) for flag bearer.

Davis has even tried to create a viral controversy by using hashtags for Black History Month and the Olympics to ensure as many people as possible would see his tweets.

She captioned this moment on Twitter saying the footage was taken 19 years and 1 day ago.

Hamlin came out victorious in the coin toss, earning her the distinction of being the fourth luger to serve as the USA flag bearer.

The AP reached out to Davis and his agent, but did not get a response. "But this is something that has to be kind of given to me by my peers, and that's really special", Hamlin said.

Davis, 35, is one of only three five-time Olympians in the U.S. line-up.

Hamlin's already announced her intent to retire from the sport following the games. It started a streak of USA men winning multiple World Cup races in each of the three seasons since the 2014 Olympics.

He said: "Not just does Erin get to hold that flag, but USA Luge gets to hold that flag".

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