What has happened to the American speed skating team? At this time it is only speculation, but the buzz is that the high tech speed skating racing suit designed by Under Armour and Lockheed Martin may be culprit.
As of Valentine’s Day, Team USA has won zero medals with the skating power house, the Netherlands winning 12 of the 18 medals, the Russians 2 and the Chinese 1. As the remaining speed skating events play out one cannot over look the speed skating standing from the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games where nine countries placed skaters on the winners’ platform. Here is the 2010 medal count.
South Korea – 5
Netherlands – 7
Canada – 5
Czech Republic – 3
United States – 4
Japan - 3
Russia – 2
China – 1
Norway – 1
Poland - 1
If we look at past Olympic speed skating race winners, Team USA should have at least one or two medals by this time. We are totally being shut out. Is the Under Armour and Lockheed Martin Mach 39 racing suit the problem?
According to the Wall Street Journal reporting, “These suits—designed by apparel sponsor Under Armour and billed before the Games as a competitive advantage—have a design flaw that may be slowing down skaters, according to three people familiar with the U.S. team. Vents on back of the suit, designed to allow heat to escape, are also allowing air to enter and create drag that keeps skaters from staying in the low position they need to achieve maximum speed, these people said. One skater said team members felt they were fighting the suit to maintain correct form.”
As we head into the weekend where the speed skating events will continue, Team USA is trying to get approval to switch suits to finish out the Sochi Olympic Games. Let’s hope that Team USA gets approval to change suits before it is too late.
So until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.