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    Shani Davis finishes seventh in what could be his last Olympic race

    Shani Davis of the U.S. competes during the men's 1,000 meters speedskating race at the Gangneung Oval at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
    Vadim Ghirda/AP
    US speedskater Shani Davis failed to medal in PyeongChang, he does have four Olympic medals in his career (two gold, two silver).

    Shani Davis let his skating do his talking in his last event at the PyeongChang Olympics.

    The four-time Olympic medalist finished seventh in the 1,000 meters on Friday, waved to the fans inside Gangneung Oval, and disappeared below the ice.

    Whether Davis had just skated in his fifth and final Olympics at age 35 remains to be seen.


    He declined to speak to media when asked to by a US Speedskating spokesman and instructed his sometime-coach Tom Cushman of the American staff not to talk to reporters either.

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    Davis’s time in Pyeongchang involved a mix of controversy and public silence.

    He declined to attend the Opening Ceremony after losing a coin toss to decide the US flagbearer in a process he said was handled ‘‘dishonorably.’’ His tweet about it implied race might have been an issue, but he chose not to explain further.

    Davis was assailed online in what became one of the few controversies of the Games.

    He finished 19th in the 1,500, his only other event in South Korea. He briefly talked to reporters after that race, saying, ‘‘The ice is super-fast. Unfortunately, I wasn't.’’


    However, when questions turned to his tweet about the tiebreaking procedure used to choose the flag bearer, Davis said he only wanted to focus on skating queries.

    Davis on Friday skated his signature distance in 1 minute, 8.78 seconds. He still holds the 1,000 world record of 1:06.42 set nine years ago in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    After coming off the ice Friday, Davis dodged waiting reporters and took another route to the locker room. Athletes are required to walk through the media mixed zone after their events whether they talk or not, and those who don’t can be subject to sanction by the International Olympic Committee.

    Davis was one of three Americans to finish in the top 10. Joey Mantia (1:08.564) was fourth and Mitch Whitmore (1:09.17) was 10th.

    ‘‘It’s incredible,’’ US coach Matt Kooreman said of Davis’s result. ‘‘I think Shani is a skating genius and he’s a legend of our sport.’’


    The Netherlands’ Kjeld Nuis won his second gold medal of these Games, and he had Mika Poutala’s Olympic spirit to thank for it.

    The Dutchman became the first speedskater to win two golds at the Gangneung Oval, but it is Poutala who deserves a special medal.

    With Nuis going full out on the final straightaway, Poutala could easily have held him up on the crossover and denied him the title. But the Finn realized his chances for a medal were waning and instead of aggressively seeking the middle of the lane, he stayed left, keeping the Dutchman’s path clear.

    ‘‘Mika Poutala just saved my life,’’ Nuis said after adding the 1,000 title to his 1,500 gold. ‘‘If he would have thrown himself in front of me, I would have been the fool. He didn’t. That is so beautiful.’’

    As a result, Nuis kept his pace and finished 0.04 seconds faster than Havard Lorentzen, who was anxiously watching from the infield. The Norwegian, himself the 500 champion, was also chasing a second gold.

    Nuis ended up winning in 1:07.91. Kim Tae-yun of South Korea took bronze.

    ‘‘I didn’t want to take any chances and ruin his race,’’ Poutala said. ‘‘I was afraid that I would mess his race and I knew he was battling for the win.’’

    Nuis said Poutala came up to him after the race and said: ‘‘I just did what I hope someone else would do for me.’’

    Men’s Big Air — Canadian snowboarder Sebastien Toutant soared to gold in the sport’s Olympic debut.

    Toutant scored a 174.25 in the final to give Team Canada its 11th gold of the PyeongChang Games. Kyle Mack of the US took second with a score of 168.75. He had a chance to better Toutant but sat down on his third and final jump. Billy Morgan of Great Britain earned bronze.

    Red Gerard, who captured the first gold medal for the US in these Games, finished fifth.

    Men’s curling — Switzerland defeated Canada, 7-5, to win the bronze medal. The loss was an upset for Canada, which had won the last three men’s competitions.

    ‘‘We feel disheartened, disappointed, just kind of gutted, really,’’ Canada’s Brent Laing said.

    ‘‘That’s not the way it was supposed to go, wasn’t what we planned, but the better team won today and unfortunately it wasn’t us.’’

    Switzerland clinched the bronze when Benoit Schwarz took out two Canadian stones with his last throw of the 10th and final end. Canada had just one throw left, so it was unable to score the 2 points it needed to force an extra end.

    ‘‘Very fortunate that maybe they didn’t play their absolute best game and we had a pretty good game,’’ Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz said. ‘‘So that was enough to win it.’’

    The gold-medal game between the United States and Sweden is Saturday.

    Men’s biathlon 4 x 7.5-kilometer relay — With King Carl XVI Gustaf watching, Peppe Femling, Jesper Nelin, Sebastian Samuelsson, and Fredrik Lindstroem teamed to help Sweden win the gold medal, finishing 55.5 seconds ahead over Norway.

    Germany took bronze, marking the seventh time it has medaled in the event in the last eight Olympics. Germany was in front until the final leg when Simon Schempp missed four of eight shots and had to do a penalty lap.

    Martin Fourcade fell short in his bid for his fourth gold medal in PyeongChang as France finished fifth.

    Women’s freestyle skiing ski cross — Kelsey Serwa sprinted to gold and teammate Brittany Phelan made a daring pass midway down the course in the final to earn silver to cap a dominant performance by the Canadians in a discipline where they have set the standard.

    Two days after Brady Leman claimed the top of the podium in the men’s event, Serwa and Phelan gave the Canadian women their second straight 1-2 Olympic finish.

    Four years ago in Sochi, it was Serwa taking silver while Marielle Thompson won gold.

    Serwa was never really threatened in Friday’s final, going to the front early and then pulling away. Phelan’s start was more sluggish. She found herself behind bronze medalist Fanny Smith of Switzerland and Sandra Naeslund of Sweden when Smith and Naeslund made contact, briefly blunting their momentum. Phelan took full advantage, sliding past and chasing Serwa all the way to the finish.