Dozens of Special Olympics speed skaters got together at Fort Dupont Ice Arena in Southeast D.C. to cheer on Shani Davis in the 1000 meters.
Their coach, former Olympian Nathaniel Mills, used the event to help teach the skaters more about the sport, explaining Davis’ strategy during the race. Unfortunately, Davis failed to win a third-straight gold medal in the event, finishing eighth.
“Shani just didn’t quite have it,” said Mills, who also used to coach Davis. “We still love him, and the skaters still love him, and he still has had a huge impact here in Washington and around the world.“
Also attending the watch party was O’Conner Anderson III, a two-time gold medalist who set a world record at the 2013 Special Olympics World Games in Korea. Anderson began speed skating in Fort Dupont’s Kids on Ice program, which introduces D.C. children to short-track speed skating.
Davis visited Fort Dupont in 2002 after making his first Olympic team. He and Mills created Learn to Speed Skate, which has served hundreds of D.C. youth in the past 12 years.