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Danny Davis, a man with no Olympic expectations
Question of the Day
No matter. Danny Davis says he’ll drop into the halfpipe Tuesday with “no expectations.”
“I’ve had a great season so far. I’ve had a blast. Like I’ve said, this is just another halfpipe contest for me,” Davis says.
Not that he doesn’t value the importance of the Olympics, or the heartache they can cause.
Davis all but punched his ticket to Vancouver four years ago when he shockingly beat White in an Olympic qualifier in California. Not long after that, he was celebrating, and broke his pelvis in an alcohol-infused ride on an all-terrain vehicle.
That injury scrubbed him out of the Olympics. A broken femur two years later - when he bashed into a pole while trying to ride around a fence, of all things - set him back again.
Asked in an interview last December whether he’s trying to care of unfinished business or make a comeback, he didn’t hesitate.
“It’s a comeback,” he said. “It’s all about being a better snowboarder and being good again. Unfinished business is like I had it set in my head that I was going to the Olympics. But going to the Olympics is a tough, ridiculous thing in the States.”
True to that, Davis looked like he wouldn’t make the trip to Sochi. He finished seventh and 14th in the first two qualifiers and simply wasn’t performing at the level he’s capable.
After a break and some more practice, he flipped the script.
He got one victory in a qualifier White didn’t take part in, then finished second to him two days later.
His victory at the Winter X Games two weeks ago was a defining moment. He won with lots of stylish tricks - fancy grabs, tough spins - but bypassed some of the most difficult gymnastics-like moves that White will try.
It’s the way Davis wants to approach these Olympics, regardless of whether he wins or not.
A look at the five riders who could take the gold if White slips up:
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