It’s the 1st controversy of the Winter Olympics — and it’s over a coin toss
SOUTH KOREA — The Winter Olympics haven’t even officially started yet, and we already have our first controversy — and it’s over who’ll carry the US flag in the opening ceremony.
On one side is Erin Hamlin, a world-renowned luger, two-time world champion and four-time Olympian.
On the other is Shani Davis — a decorated speed skater and five-time Olympics qualifier.
The flag bearer is typically chosen in a vote of the eight US winter sport federations, which represent biathlon, bobsled and skeleton, curling, figure skating, hockey, luge, ski and snowboarding, and speed skating.
But this year, Hamlin and Davis tied 4-4.
Enter the coin toss, Davis said.
Hamlin was chosen, according to the US Olympic Committee.
And Davis was definitely not happy about it, venting in a tweet that the coin toss was “dishonorably” done.
“I am an American and when I won the 1000m in 2010 I became the first American to 2-peat in that event,” Davis tweeted. “@TeamUSA dishonorably tossed a coin to decide its 2018 flag bearer. No problem. I can wait until 2022. #BlackHistoryMonth2018 #PyeongChang2018.”
CNN has reached out to the US Olympic Committee for comment.
For her part, Hamlin said she was excited about the prospect of carrying the flag.
“Working hard and earning success is one thing, being acknowledged as a great representative and member of Team USA by fellow athletes — many who I have been inspired by — is above and beyond anything I’ve experienced,” Hamlin said in a statement.
“It is definitely a privilege and honor to be the one to lead the team and will be a very special moment. I can’t wait to share it with them all!”
Hamlin will be the sixth woman in 23 games to carry the US flag, and the first since 2006.