According to The Wall Street Journal, a report investigating the US speedskating team's lackluster performance at the Winter Olympics has identified the late introduction of Under Armour's racing suit as "a factor" in the debacle. The report also points to the team's pre-Olympic travel schedule, poorly planned practice locations, and the skate sharpening system used during Sochi as other problems. With a history of medal wins, the United States entered Sochi as an immediate favorite in several long-track speed skating races. But no American ever finished better than seventh place. The US Olympic Committee immediately began searching for answers that could explain the meltdown.
The racing suit created by Under Armour worn by the team was quickly identified as a prime suspect. Billed as the world's fastest, it wasn't long before athletes began complaining about the untested design. Eventually the team switched back to older racing suits, but their times didn't improve by any significant margin. "The idea that we would give these game-changers to our athletes right before the Olympics and they would get to the line and feel like they had an advantage, that did not work," US Speedskating executive director Ted Morris told the Journal. Critics complained that the US was making up excuses for a terrible showing — its worst in 30 years.