Chicago isn't just the home of R. Kelly, Twista, and Kanye West. We can now add Shani Davis to the list of historic Black men coming from Chi-Town. That's not only because he holds the world record in the 1500-meters and Allround Points in 2005, but he has made Olympic history by becoming the first African-American to win an individual gold medal in the Winter Olympics.
Davis had fallen out with his team members over the decision to focus on his individual events first and his team second. But his focus paid off as he took the gold in the 1,000-meter speedskating race. But unfortunately many people didn't want to see Davis win the competition. In fact, he received a large amount of hate mail and negative words to his website. Words like "showboat" and "egotist" and some much uglier than those arrived in Davis' inbox.
"People saying they hoped I would fall, break my leg, using the n-word," Davis told the press. But Davis can push all the negative comments out of his mind and rejoice in the knowledge that he's done something that he's always dreamed about. He can look to the face of his mother, his #1 fan, and thank her for her time, sacrifice and support. He can look to the world and know that he's accomplished something great even coming from a place where people idolize Michael Jordon.
"Maybe I can be the Michael Jordan of speedskating," he said.
But what ever Davis decides to do with the rest of his career he can always know that he will be down on the books as the first, the ground-breaker, the pioneer, and the revolutionary. And hopefully he can inspire a new generation of youth from urban areas who are only expected to bounce a basketball to do something different and dare to dream.