Inspiration Report

The U.S. Olympic team continued their lucky streak on Wednesday when two more Olympians won gold medals along with Lindsey Vonn: 27-year-old Shani Davis in the 1000 meter speed skating event and 23-year-old Shaun White in the halfpipe snowboarding event. 

Shani Davis was the first black athlete to win a gold medal for an individual sport at the 2006 Winter Olympics and he also became the first man to defend his title this year and set a world record.  In the past, Davis has been accused of not being a team player, of keeping to himself, feuding with other players, and shunning endorsements and limelight.  Yet despite people’s perceptions of him, Davis remained competitively strong and capable, maintaining his own resources to train and focusing his time and energy on fatherhood (he has a son) and on the sport he loves. Raised and supported by a single mother, Davis began roller skating at 2-years-old and competing in speedskating events at 6-years-old.

“I’ve lived 27 years of my life and I have self worth and I know what I am as a person…I don’t need anyone to define that for me if they’re paying attention to me once every four years, or just these two weeks of the Olympics.  I already have my self-definition, and I’m quite happy with it,” Davis shared before winning the gold medal. (

Also back at this year’s Olympics to defend his gold medal in halfpipe snowboarding was Shaun White, aka. the Flying Tomato.  As a baby, White was born with a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot. in which the heart has four abnormalities,  Before reaching one-years-old, White’s heart was operated on two times. By 6-years-old, White began snowboarding for the first time, even learning to snowboard on the opposite foot, and competing when he was 7-years-old.  At 13-years-old, White became a pro snowboarder and also became known as a “snowboard prodigy” who even excelled at skateboarding.  Now, White has become one of the world’s best and most-recognized snowboarders, an unbeatable champion at various competitions.

Along with Shani Davis, White also won a gold medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics.  This year, White was back to defend his title and also set a new record.  While some of his teammates fell going down the halfpipe, White executed two near-flawless runs and topped it off with his signature move, the Double McTwist 1260. As one news announcer pointed out during the competition, White lived up to all the hype and expectations.

“I’m just so happy to feel the win,” White said. “And then to put down that last run, it was the best victory run of my life.”  (


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