U.S. speedskaters to switch to different model Under Armour suit for remainder of Sochi Games


 Shani Davis, shown here in Wednesday’s 1000m, will wear a different Under Armour suit starting Saturday. (Vincent Jannink/European Pressphoto Agency)

SOCHI, Russia—The under-performing U.S. speedskating team will switch from the highly touted Under Armour suit its athletes have worn through the first week of the Sochi Olympics to another model made by the same company.

Mike Plant, U.S. Speedskating’s president, confirmed the change in a statement released Friday night, explaining that the athletes would go back to wearing previously approved Under Armour skin suits that they used during recent World Cup competition.

“Under Armour provided U.S. Speedskating with three different suit configurations in advance of Sochi, and we have full confidence in the performance benefits of each of them,” Plant said in the statement. “We are constantly evaluating all aspects of race preparation and execution to help our athletes improve their output and maximize their physical and psychological advantages.

Plant went on to say that U.S. Speedskating remained proud of its long-term relationship with the Baltimore-based Under Armour.

The United States has won 29 gold medals and 67 overall in Olympic speedskating. The long track team was expected to do extremely well in Sochi, but hasn’t finished better than seventh place through six of 12 events.

The top men’s U.S. men’s speedskaters return to the Olympic track Saturday for the 1,500 meters. The race represents the best remaining chance for Shani Davis, 31, who finished a disappointing eighth in the 1,000, to add to his collection for four Olympic medals.

Davis has won two golds in the 1,000 and two silvers in the 1,500.

After finishing well shy of the medal podium in the 1,000, in which he was the heavy favorite, Davis dismissed a suggestion that the team’s new Under Armour suits played a role in the outcome.

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