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He recently discussed how close he came to killing himself.

“I think I was pretty close, and that is pretty shocking to say,” he recently told Dutch national broadcaster NOS. “Everyone can create hell in his head. When he gets those kinds of thoughts, everything turns black. Blacker than black.”

Davis‘ time was 1:09.12 — a bitter disappointment for an American team that came to Sochi with high hopes but has yet to earn a spot on the podium. Brian Hansen of Glenview, Ill., was ninth and said afterward that he was battling an illness. Joey Mantia of Ocala, Fla., settled for 15th and Jonathan Garcia of Houston was 28th.

Davis has a shot at redemption in the 1,500, another of the races he calls “my babies.” He earned silver in that event at the last two Olympics and would love nothing more than to make it a gold after what happened Wednesday.

“Now I have to figure out how to prepare myself the best I can for that 1,500 race,” he said. “Since one door closed, hopefully another one opens and I’m able to step in there.”

Davis was attempting to become only the third speedskater to three-peat in an event. Bonnie Blair of the U.S. won the women’s 500 at Calgary, Albertville and Lillehammer, while Germany’s Claudia Pechstein took gold in the 5,000 at Lillehammer, Nagano and Salt Lake City.

Blair and Pechstein remain alone in that select group.

At age 31, Davis simply didn’t have the speed to match Groothuis, even though the Dutchman is a year older.

The Chicago native skated in the 18th of 20 pairings, knowing the time he needed to beat. Groothuis, who went two groups earlier, could only watch as Davis spit on the ice, raised his left hand toward the ceiling and patted his chest with his right, trying to envision another gold-medal performance.

Davis was just slightly off to the pace at the 200 split — a quicker start, actually, than he expected — but he fell further and further back from there. At the 600 mark, he was 0.37 behind Groothuis‘ time and had no chance of making that up over the final lap. With his left arm slipping off his back, a sign he was tiring, Davis labored across the line with only the seventh-fastest time to that point.

His medal chances were done.

“It might have thrown me off that I opened so fast,” Davis said. “I wasn’t able to settle in and skate the way I normally would. I have struggled with that in the past, but it was something I never thought would happen under these circumstances.”

One more guy picked off Davis in the last two groups, and that was it.

No history in Sochi.

Not even close.