Hamlin to carry USA flag into opening ceremony

It was a feel-good story for a few hours: Luge veteran Erin Hamlin gets the chance to enter her last Olympics carrying the USA flag into the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Games, winning that distinction after a vote by some of her fellow athletes.

Erin Hamlin waves to the crowd after finishing her second run at Mount Van Hoevenberg during the FIS World Cup tour in December 2016. She's also the fourth luge athlete to carry the US flag into an Olympics.

Shani was one of eight candidates who was up for the honor of carrying the flag during the opening ceremony. Hamlin "won" the coin flip, which resulted in her being named flag bearer.

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Perhaps even more puzzling is why Davis wasn't the overwhelming choice among his fellow USA athletes.

Instead, that honor went to luger Erin Hamilton, herself a four-time Olympian and the first American of either gender to win a solo medal in luge. "I can't wait to share it with them all!"

"I don't think there's been an African-American flag bearer, ever, for the Winter Games, " Mantia pointed out, quite correctly.

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And speedskater Shani Davis, a five-time Olympian and four-time medalist, ended up on the wrong end of it.

He said: "Not just does Erin get to hold that flag, but USA Luge gets to hold that flag". She kicks off her 2018 Olympic competition on February 12 with the first two runs of the luge.

Although he implies he'll be back in 2022, it is likely this will be Davis' last Olympic appearance. The two were informed Wednesday night that Hamlin had won.

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Speaking before Davis' tweet, Hamlin said her family would be thrilled to watch her carry the flag. "I slide that's what I do. Walking out in front of a lot of people and even more people watching from home. that's going to be way more nerve wracking". Voting is done by one athlete from each of the governing bodies, and Olympic veteran Jonathan Garcia was the speedskating representative.


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