US Speedskaters Ask to Change Suits

After awful start, team might revert to older suits
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2014 3:45 PM CST
US Speedskaters Ask to Change Suits
Shani Davis of the U.S. skates durng a training session in Sochi with the new suit.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

The US speedskating team is still without a medal after an awful start in Sochi, and the squad hopes it can turn things around by changing suits. The team has officially sought permission from the Olympic powers-that-be to ditch their fancy "Mach 39" suits made by Under Armour and revert to older suits when competition resumes tomorrow, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Mach 39 suits, never before used in competition, were supposed to have a whiz-bang design that would boost speeds, but now many think they're actually slowing the skaters down, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The blame-the-suit sentiment apparently isn't unanimous among team members, but if the switch is made, all members would have to abide. The official word from US Speedskating chief Ted Morris avoids blaming Under Armour but suggests the issue is in skaters' heads: “We don’t think (the suits) are having any impact but at the same time we want to make sure when our athletes get on that start line they have confidence and are ready to go." Under Armour, meanwhile, can at least take solace in that it also makes the older suits. (More 2014 Sochi Olympics stories.)

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