Shani Davis: He's Fire on Ice--and Off It

Shani Davis has always set his own course. While most boys in his South Side Chicago neighborhood were trying to shoot hoops like Michael Jordan, Davis was lacing on skates and speeding around an ice rink. His buddies teased him for dedicating himself to a sport that seemed so white. "A lot of kids made fun of [speed skating] because it wasn't a thing you could do to get rich," says Davis.

Speed skating is still largely a white sport, and he has yet to get rich from it, but Davis, 23, the first African American to qualify for a U.S....

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