Team USA Speed Skaters Complain Under Armour Suits Slowing Them Down
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Under Armour is under pressure. The Baltimore-based company designed Team USA’s speed skating suits for the Sochi Olympics.
But now the athletes are blaming those suits for poor performance on the ice.
Meghan McCorkell has more, including Under Armour’s response.
Under Armour announces U.S. athletes will not be wearing the Mach 39 suits specifically designed for the Olympics for the rest of the games.
The top American speed skaters are striking out in Sochi. Favorite Shani Davis failed to even make the medal stand.
“A story in the Wall Street Journal lays some of the blame on Under Armour,” an ESPN reporter said.
The Baltimore-based company teamed with Lockheed Martin to develop Team USA’s high-tech Olympic speed skating suits.
But some skaters complain the design of the suits is slowing them down on Olympic ice.
Now the team has voted to scrap the Mach 39 and wear an older suit.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said: “This is a bit of a head scratcher where I think the team isn’t performing as well as any of us hoped to.”
But locals in Baltimore say they don’t think Under Armour is to blame.
“I find it hard to believe that Under Armour wouldn’t help, if anything,” Jen Rebai said.
“Now that they’re losing, I guess they’re just finding something to criticize,” said Sean Cuffie.
“It’s a shame that this local company is getting this bad rap. You want to always see them do well,” Owen Lakin said.
In a statement to WJZ, the president of U.S. speed skating said: “Under Armour’s mission is to make all athletes better, and they are working tirelessly with Team USA to ensure each athlete steps on the ice with 100% confidence so they are positioned to capture a spot on the podium.”
The suits Team USA will switch to are also designed by Under Armour.
Under Armour sent an entire team to Sochi to help make modifications and adjustments to the Mach 39.
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