The 2018 Winter Olympics started off with a bang as Team USA had one of its members, Shani Davis, an African-American speed skater and four-time Olympic medalist skip the opening ceremony on Friday night. This was likely because of how the USA decided who would be their flag bearer. Davis, who is making his fourth appearance in the Winter Games felt the method used was "dishonorable" and said as much in a post made from his Twitter account.

Coin flip controversy

A vote took place with eight fellow athletes to decide who would be the flag bearer for Team USA.

This vote was held between Shani Davis and Erin Hamlin. The vote resulted in a draw and to break that draw they decided to flip a coin instead of asking another athlete to cast a vote. Why they decided to only allow eight athletes to vote instead of an odd number will be questioned, but nonetheless, the result went Hamlin's way and Davis was understandably very upset over the method used.

As reported by Jason Owens at Yahoo Sports in a tweet made by Davis he said, “I am an American and when I won the 1000m in 2010 I became the first American to 2-peat in that event. @TeamUSA dishonorably tossed a coin to decide its 2018 flag-bearer. No problem. I can wait until 2022. #BlackHistoryMonth2018 #PyeongChang2018.” His use of the hashtag Black History Month makes it appear as though race played a factor in how the vote played out.

His twitter account has since been made private, making his tweets unable for the public to view.

However, according to ESPN, "A U.S. Speedskating spokesman told reporters on Saturday that Davis had already planned to skip Friday night's festivities because of his training schedule, but considered going when he was elected as one of the nominees to be the flag-bearer." Davis declined to speak to the press on Saturday, so it is still unclear the true reason for his no-show despite what was said by the spokesperson.

Not the first Davis controversy

As reported by ESPN, Friday night was not the first controversy that involved Davis in his Winter Olympics career. Davis became the first black athlete to win an individual gold medal in 2006. He then skipped a team pursuit event which upset his teammate, Chad Hedrick. He later stormed out of a press conference when Hedrick bought up the team event again.

Since then, Hedrick has defended Davis on Twitter saying, "Whether or not you are the flag-bearer, you will still go down in history as one of the greatest athletes to compete in the Winter Olympics."