Shani Davis fell short of his chance to make history on Wednesday.
If he had won the 1000m, he would have become the first American male to win three straight gold medals in one event. Instead he finished a distant eighth in his signature race, more than seventh-tenths of a second behind Stefan Groothuis of the Netherlands.
"I think it was an OK skate. I think it was good, but it wasn't good enough," Davis said. "I can keep my head high knowing I did my best today."
Also disappointed were Davis' many friends and supporters who gathered for a viewing party Wednesday at Chicago Sol Cafe.
"I'm a little disappointed, but I'm more disappointed for Shani," Davis' friend and fellow skater, Wale Kadiri, said.
Kadiri consoled Davis over the phone after the outcome that nobody expected.
"Of course I told him good effort, I know you put your best out there an we're proud of you," Kadiri said.
And while they're disappointed, there's no diminishing everything that Davis has accomplished so far.
"Everybody doesn't get to the Olympics, certainly not three times in a row," Davis' friend Shemiah Williams said.
Davis' first coach, Sanders Hicks, was among those thinking Davis' best performance in these Olympics could be yet to come.
"He could medal with the relay .... I feel good about both, he holds the world record in the 1500," Hicks said.
Also finishing out of the medals was Glenview's Brian Hansen, who finished in ninth place and broke down in tears afterward. A viewing party was held at the Northbrook rink where Hansen trained.
"As long as he's happy with his performance, he's done the best," Hansen's aunt, Sarah Kroeschell, said.