When I logged on today this story is the first thing I saw. It’s about Shani Davis, gold medal winner for the Turin for speed skating 1000. Why is he front page news? Because he’s the FIRST African American person to win an individual gold medal at a winter olympics. EVER.

Sure, he holds the world record for speed skating in the 1000, but now he can go in the record books for being black too. I’m not being cynical either. I think it’s pretty amazing that there are still achievements like these to be made for people of color. It reminded me that the civil rights movement and a history of racism in this country aren’t in our very distant past.

What amazed  me most though was that Davis was so blase about his achievement. He wasn’t skating around saying, “This is a huge step for African Americans everywhere,” as other athletes have been wont to do. Not that it would have offended anyone, but the point is that I think it was cool that he was able to take it as a personal achievement and an accomplishment for the United State rather than another chance to rub racism in white people’s faces.

This was his quote right after receiving the medal:

“I just think that it’s cool to have a gold medal because so many people train hard and work hard all their lives and they don’t have a gold medal, regardless of their color,” Davis said. “Here I am 23 years old, been skating for 17 years, ever since I was 6. It feels good to have a medal, especially a gold one.”

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