But Italy's Enrico Fabris skated past both of them and became a gold medal hero, winning in front of his countrymen. Fabris outskated the American duo to win the men's 1,500-meter race in Turin. Davis and Hedrick settled for silver and bronze, respectively.
Fabris posted a time of 1 minute, 45.97 seconds. Davis, in the final pair, finished .16 of a second behind. Hedrick was .25 of a second off the winning pace. Fabris is the first skater from outside the United States to win an individual speed skating race at the games. He also was a part of Italy's gold-medal-winning squad in the team pursuit.
American Joey Cheek was ninth and Derek Parra came in 19th.
Hedrick, a brash Texan whose bid to win five golds faltered when Davis refused to ski in the team pursuit last week, was the world record-holder in the 1,500 meters going into the race. He took the record from Davis.
Without actually naming him,
"I'm not buying into the Chad vs. Shani situation," Hedrick said Monday. "I don't know much about him at all. We have different opinions about doing different things. At the same time, we're both fierce competitors. That's all it boils down to."
Davis has largely stayed out of the argument, preferring to make his statements on the Oval Lingotto ice.
"I don't care about beating Chad," he said. "What if it turns out that he's not the person to beat? I'm not putting pressure on myself to beat one person. I want to beat everybody."
Another highly anticipated ice championship hasn't gotten so intense — yet. Women's figure skating, began Tuesday with the short program. Sasha Cohen, Kimmie Meissner and Emily Hughes are the best the United States has to offer. But how do they stack up against the world's skating superpowers?
"[The United States is] no longer a figure skating power," said Sports Illustrated figure skating analyst E.M. Swift. "We're not weak, but Russia is where it's at right now and Japan is coming on strong, particularly with the women."
CBS News' Manuel Gallegus reports that Cohen has the most experience, but she doesn't have the big jumps of her competitors.
"My personal best is what my main goal will be, because then I know no matter what happens I've won," Cohen said. "I've done everything I could do."
A long shot for a medal is 16-year-old Kimmie Meissner. Some say she needs to build up maturity as well as skill.
For Tuesday's short program, the skaters will be on the ice for just under three minutes, each performing eight required moves and elements, CBS Radio News correspondent Steve Futterman reports. The free skate comes Thursday.