Winter Olympics: Out with New, In with Old for U.S. Speedskating Uniforms [Video]
The United States’ speedskating team had won 29 gold medals and 67 medals overall in long-track competition before the Sochi Winter Olympics, including four medals at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010.
But so far in Sochi, Russia, the Americans had not finished better than seventh place through six of the 12 events for the XXII Winter Games.
In a decision reached early Saturday in Sochi, the U.S. Speedskating Association decided to make a switch on its new uniforms, The Wall Street Journal reported along with other numerous other news media outlets, including ESPN, The Associated Press and NBC Sports.
The revolutionary Mach 39 suits had been developed by Baltimore-based Under Armour along with Marietta, Ga.-based aerospace firm Lockheed-Martin. Instead, American speedskaters will revert back to the Under Armour uniforms they had previously been using.
The change was considered necessary in the winter sport in which the U.S. has had more success than any other.
“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,” U.S. Speedskating President Mike plant said in a statement.
Through two of eight short-track speedskating events, the best U.S finish has been J.R. Celski’s fourth in the men’s 1,500-meter race won by Canada’s Charles Hamelin.