American speed skater Shani Davis is a minor celebrity in America, but he's practically a folk hero in the Netherlands, where speed skating is beloved all year round. According to the Wall Street Journal, Davis is so respected by the Dutch that even his Olympic rival, Koen Verweij, considers him a hero.
From the Journal:
He is tight with the Dutch skaters, too. He calls Koen Verweij, who will race against him on Wednesday, "my homeboy." Verweij calls him his brother. Earlier this week, Verweij was photographed giving Davis a lift back from the rink on the front of his bright orange bicycle. "He's a hero," Verweij said.
It's usually appropriate to brush aside all the "The games unite us all!" rhetoric that comes with the Olympics, but look at what great buddies these guys are!
Davis and Verweij just finished racing side-by-side in their 1,000m heat, and neither skated well enough to earn a medal. It's cool, though, because an Olympic medal will never be as valuable as a good bro who will let you ride on the front of his bike.