The Slatest

Speedskaters Get Same Old Results After Switch to Old Suits in Sochi

Shani Davis
Shani Davis’ old suit: not any better than his new suit.

Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

The Under Armour saga continues. Donning new, well old, skinsuits, the U.S. speedskating team saw no change in its fortunes on Saturday. Gold medal hopeful Shani Davis, who holds the world record for the 1500 meters, finished 11th in the event, nearly five seconds off his best time.

Davis and his teammates are now skating in the same suits they wore at last month’s World Cup—also made by Under Armour—after a secret vote to ditch the newer “Mach 39” suits designed by Under Armour in partnership with Lockheed-Martin. There was suspicion the suits, untested in competition, were causing drag. (On Friday, Justin Peters asked if the Under Armour speedskating suit was “the worst product placement in sports history.”)

After today’s showing, stress and other psychological factors are getting the blame. “Just going through it mentally and using energy in ways we haven’t used energy before, and worrying about things we didn’t have to worry about in Olympic trials,” Davis told reporters after the event, “it took its toll.”

Read the rest of Slate’s coverage of the Sochi Olympics.