You may recall a few days back, we profiled the new suits being worn by the United Skates speedskaters.
The suits went through heavy testing and were used in similar ways to motion capture suits that you see used to film movies and produce video games.
The aerodynamic suits, complete with vents on the back which allow heat to escape have apparently not gone over well and some believe a design flaw in the suit is the reason why.
Multiple high-profile Olympians like Shani Davis and Heather Richardson were expected to continue their Olympic dominance but have fallen flat with the belief that the ‘vents’ are causing drag.
Per Wall Street Journal:
According to three people familiar with the U.S. team, these suits—which were designed by apparel sponsor Under Armour and billed before the Games as a major advantage—have a design flaw that may be slowing the skaters down. These people said that vents on back of the suit, designed to allow heat to escape, are allowing air to enter the suit and create drag that keeps the skaters from staying in the “low” position they need to achieve maximum speed. One skater said team members felt they were fighting the suit to maintain correct form.
Could it be a design flaw that is causing the poor results? Or are the Americans, as a whole, getting outmatched?
It’s certainly a bit perplexing to see such talented athletes (who were favorites in their respective events) struggle so bad.