Stephen Colbert and Shani Davis Face Off - NBC Chicago

Stephen Colbert and Shani Davis Face Off

Gold-medalist speedskater accepts comedian's challenge to a race



    Stephen Colbert and Shani Davis Face Off
    Getty Images
    Colbert lost badly.

    On Wednesday's episode of The Colbert Report, world champion speedskater Shani Davis and Stephen Colbert faced off in a "classic showdown" that, according to Colbert, was nothing short of destiny.

    The winner would receive the last position on the U.S. Olympic Speedskating Team.

    But first, Colbert, who had thrown down the challenge, had to learn how to skate.

    A quick recap: Colbert helped raise $300,000 for the American speedskating team when one of its sponsors, a Dutch bank, declared bankruptcy.

    Colbert than began verbally bashing Canadians on his show, after he discovered that international athletes had difficulty practicing because Vancouver Olympic officials were limiting their access to facilities.

    The verbal attacks didn't sit well with Chicago-born Davis. Back in December, the American gold-medalist said of Colbert, "He's a jerk... You can put that in the paper."

    Obviously, Davis didn't get that The Colbert Report is complete satire, and Colbert's jabs at Canada weren't meant to be taken seriously.

    In response, Colbert challenged the well-experienced athlete to a race on the ice. Davis accepted the challenge, and Colbert was ready to take him on... he just needed a few lessons first.

    Once the comedy host learned how to skate (and by "skate," we mean "stay upright"), he called Davis via cell phone from the ice rink. In the taped segment of Wednesday's episode, Colbert told Davis, "I want to apologize for whatever I said that upset you. You're a great athlete, and I respect you."

    Davis, who answered the call while still driving to the rink, smiled and took it all in stride. "Okay."

    "There's just one more thing I want to say," said Colbert. "GO!"

    And with that, the race began. Colbert started his 500-meter stumble, and Davis drove to the rink, parked his car, leisurely signed a few autographs, and slowly put on his uniform.

    Colbert was still staggering his way around the ice oval when Davis caught up with and surpassed him.

    Davis completed the course in 35.24 seconds. Colbert was right behind him ...

    ... at 13 minutes, 43.89 seconds.

    Colbert didn't make the team as an athlete, but he was invited to be the official assistant sports psychologist.

    Now Colbert can legitimately say he is going to the Olympics as a member of the U.S. Olympic Speedskating Team.

    "Eat it, lifetime dedication!" he screamed in celebration.

    The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
    Skate Expectations - Speedskating Race - Shani Davis
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    Matt Bartosik is a Chicago native and a social media sovereign.