Shani Davis rips Team USA's decision on flag bearer after coin flip

Scott-USA TODAY Sports

The Winter Olympics haven't even officially started yet, and we already have our first controversy - and it's over who'll carry the U.S. flag in the opening ceremony.

On Thursday morning, Davis shared his feelings about the methodology in a Tweet, saying Team USA "dishonorably tossed a coin". "He added he can "wait until 2022" and included a "#BlackHistoryMonth2018" hashtag.

In a historic win at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, Hamlin scored a bronze medal in the singles luge heat, a first for any USA competitor since the sport's addition to the games. "Now being voted flag bearer is a whole new level", Hamlin said in a news release. A coin flip was then used to break the tie, per United States Olympic Committee rules. Her only Olympic medal is a bronze.

Davis and US luge veteran Erin Hamlin were the favorites to carry the flag for Team USA at Friday's opening ceremonies, but when a team vote left the two deadlocked, a protocol called for a coin toss to break the tie.

"It was a pretty big shock", Hamlin said of being asked to carry the flag, via NBC Olympics.

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The U.S. Olympic Committee confirmed the tie to the AP and said that everyone involved knew that a coin toss would decide things if the final vote was all tied up.

Perhaps its not surprising that Davis will be joined in Pyeongchang by the first two African-American women to make the US speedskating team — Erin Jackson on the big oval and Maame Biney in short track.

Hamlin gained the selection at a meeting of team representatives from each USA winter sports body after she and Davis were tied at four votes each.

Choosing which world-class athlete would carry the American flag at the Opening Ceremony for the 2018 Winter Olympics did not come without controversy. A two-time world champion, Hamlin also has 23 world cup medals. Erin won via a coin toss. The luge star became the first USA athlete to medal in singles luge since the event's inception in 1964.

One of the most decorated athletes in his sport, Davis he will be competing in his fifth Winter Olympics this year. This year will be even more special.

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