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.
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.
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