When Canada speed skater Denny Morrison won silver in the men's 500 metres, it had a little something to do with the fact his contemporary Shani Davis was wearing a Blackberry Z10. Or its racing suit equivalent, brought to you by Under Armour with an assist from the good people at Lockheed Martin.
The U.S., typically a long-track lodestar, has yet to have an individual even place in the top five at the Adler Arena oval, let alone on the podium. Davis faded to eighth in the 500 where Morrison medalled. The poor results are being chalked up to the Mach 39, the so-called "the world's fastest speed skating suit" actually dragging down skaters, hurting their times. Under Armour also saw its stock take a 2.4 per cent hit during trading Friday, although overall the apparel maker has done very well across the past 12 months. The Americans have requested to switch suits before the long-track meet resumes on Saturday.
The suit has a major design flaw that slows the skaters down. It seems that vents on rear of the suit, put in place to allow heat to escape, actually allow air to enter—in turn creating drag. That keeps the skaters a little more upright than usual, meaning they can't quite reach maximum speed.
It doesn't take Olga Graf to know how heated it gets under those racing suits, so you can understand why they wanted to let the racer breathe, especially in the longer races.Read More »from U.S. speed skaters ask to ditch Mach 39 racing suits, which have dragged down Under Armour stock