Is Under Armour crimping Olympic athletes?

Some US speed skaters are asking to ditch the company's newer suits, saying its older ones performed better.

By MSN Money Partner Feb 14, 2014 5:06PM
Credit: © Patrick Semansky/AP
Caption: Tucker Fredricks of the United States competes in the first heat of the men's 500-meter speedskating race at Adler Arena in Sochi, Russia, during the 2014 Winter Olympics. The U.S. speedskating team has had a miserable performance the first week of the Sochi Olympics — and much of the speculation has turned to its new high-tech Under Armour skinsuitBy Joshua Robinson and Sara Germano, The Wall Street Journal

U.S. Speedskating asked Olympic and skating officials late Friday night for the option to switch out of the new Under Armour (UA) suits that some skaters think are causing the team's long-track athletes to underperform at these Games, the organization's executive director Ted Morris said.

The request doesn't guarantee that American skaters will be wearing different suits when competition resumes on Saturday afternoon, should the International Skating Union and the International Olympic Committee sign off.

The team is currently split into two groups: those who want to stick with the current model and those who would revert to a suit they used while racking up victories throughout the fall. The alternate suit is also made by Under Armour.

Morris expects a ruling within hours.

"The general feeling from the athletes, it's pretty darn close to 50-50," Morris said. He wouldn't give any details of the top skaters' positions.

After six long-track events, no U.S. skater has finished better than seventh. That includes gold-medal favorites such as Shani Davis and Heather Richardson, who have dominated the World Cup circuit this season only to falter here.

Under Armour didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

More from The Wall Street Journal


Feb 15, 2014 11:04AM
Pretty funny story actually. Blame the suits for not doing well. The suit is a tiny fraction of the overall performance. Maybe the other participants are just doing better?
Feb 24, 2014 6:24AM
Had to mention the Gays huh! just cant let anything be reported without an agenda story as a high point in history. Lame story as always.
Feb 24, 2014 6:34AM
Had to mention the Gays huh! just cant let anything be reported without a agenda story as a high point in history. Lame story as always.
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