Late intro of Under Armour’s speedskating suits contributed to Team USA woes, report says

(Paul Gilham/Getty Images)


[Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the US Speedskating report determined the new Under Armour Mach 39 suits slowed down the American skaters. The report did not find fault with the suits themselves, only with the failure to test them in competition before the Olympics.]

Remember being disappointed about how slow, at least relatively, our speedskaters were during the Sochi Olympics? So were U.S. Speedskating officials, who commissioned a report to look into the performances.

Ted Morris, the executive director of US Speedskating, told the Wall Street Journal that the team was wrong to use the Mach 39 suits in the Olympics without first having tested them in less high-profile competitions. He said:

 “The idea that we would give these game-changers to our athletes right before the Olympics and they would get to the line and feel like they had an advantage, that did not work. … The lesson there is that if we have game-changers like that, let’s introduce them in December, not February.”

Under Armour has yet to respond to the report.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the report also found fault with the team’s pre-Olympics preparations. Among other things, it said the travel was too demanding and that US Speedskating failed to collect and analyze enough data to figure out how best to peak the performances of stars like Shani Davis, Morris told the Wall Street Journal:

“When you go back and look at those performance trends, our expectations going into Sochi were not realistic. … The idea that we were going to go there and win eight, 10, 12 medals in long-track alone was way off.”


Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.



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Marissa Payne · May 2, 2014

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