Local Olympic skater glides into history as council dubs April ‘Shani Davis Month’

Katie Park

Evanston’s City Council declared April 2010 to be Shani Davis Month at its meeting Tuesday.

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl first announced Shani Davis Month during a celebration for Davis on March 18, and the council on Tuesday made it official.

Davis, an Olympic speed skater raised on the South Side of Chicago, began training at the Evanston Speed Skating Club when he was 6 years old. In 2002, he became the first black speed skater on the U.S. Olympic team. Davis has won four Olympic medals, including a gold medal at the Vancouver 2010 in the 1,000-meter race and a silver medal in the 1,500-meter.

The council’s proclamation reads, “The City of Evanston is extremely proud of Shani Davis for his exceptional work ethic, strength of character and considerate nature.”

Tisdahl said Davis is loyal to Robert Crown Community Center and Ice Complex, 1701 Main St., returning to skate with children at the center.

“We were excited when he won gold at the Olympics,” Tisdahl said. “Shani has always been proud of Robert Crown, proud of skating there and a great supporter.”

– Katie Park