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Under Armour/Lockheed Suit Blamed For US Skating Performance 357

Posted by timothy
from the this-event-should-be-nude-anyhow dept.
Koreantoast writes "The United States' surprisingly poor performance in speedskating, despite strong performances in recent World Cup events, has been blamed in part on an untested speedskating suit. The Mach 39, designed through a joint venture between Under Armour and Lockheed Martin, was supposed to provide Team USA with a high tech advantage, using advanced fluid dynamic models and a dimpled surface to disrupt air flow and improve comfort. Instead, performances have been disastrous thus far, with athletes going as far as modifying their suits at the Olympics to try and reverse their fortunes. The suits have caused enough concerns that U.S. Speedskating is taking the unusual step of seeking special dispensation from International Skating Union to ditch the high tech suits and switch back to their old uniforms. Teams are normally required to keep the same equipment through the entire Games. Insert jokes and comparisons to Lockheed's more famous product, the JSF, here."
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Under Armour/Lockheed Suit Blamed For US Skating Performance

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  • Untested? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14, 2014 @07:53PM (#46251513)

    Who the hell goes to the Olympics with untested gear, just hoping it will work?

    • by Dunbal (464142) * on Friday February 14, 2014 @08:01PM (#46251559)
      Americans
      • by QilessQi (2044624) on Friday February 14, 2014 @08:06PM (#46251615)

        I don't know whether this should be modded +1 Funny or +1 SadlyObvious.

        • by icebike (68054)

          How about sadly untrue, but still serves for an an excuse to dump on Americans.

          • We are, after all, seemingly working overtime for your viewing pleasure.
          • Re:Untested? (Score:5, Informative)

            by QilessQi (2044624) on Friday February 14, 2014 @09:50PM (#46252291)

            I read TFA, and yes the suits were tested by the manufacturer, but they were only delivered to the team in January where "preliminary adjustments for fit and comfort were made for each athlete... The U.S. team wore the suits in the past month for simulated race conditions, but the Games marked the first time in competition."

            These skaters have spent years practicing, and yet they spent just one month in the actual gear they would wear for the competition. And worse, some of them are making last-minute mods:

            "Several skaters, including Heather Richardson, ranked No. 1 in the 1,000 meters, sent their suits to an Under Armour seamstress Thursday to have the panel modified with an extra piece of rubber. After the alteration, Ms. Richardson finished seventh—more than a second slower than the winner."

            So there's a perfect example of an American racing in untested gear.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by icebike (68054)

              These skaters have spent years practicing, and yet they spent just one month in the actual gear they would wear for the competition. And worse, some of them are making last-minute mods:

              Years racing, means they know their shit, and ought to be in a position to judge a suit in less than a month. You might have some doubts after day one, but after day 5, if you are still reaching for your old gear, you know something ain't right. Its not their first rodeo.

              • Re:Untested? (Score:5, Insightful)

                by QilessQi (2044624) on Friday February 14, 2014 @11:22PM (#46252691)

                Fair enough, but then what's worse...?

                • 1. blowing your once-in-four-years shot at an Olympic medal by racing in untested gear (as Heather Richardson did anyway with her last-minute mods),
                • 2. blowing your once-in-four-years shot at an Olympic medal by racing in gear that you've tested to the point that you know it's bad, when you had the option of using your own gear,
                • 3. blowing your once-in-four-years shot at an Olympic medal by racing in gear that you've tested to the point that you know it's bad, but you were dumb enough to sign a contract saying that you'd race in whatever the heck you were given or else be sued out the wazoo, or
                • 4. blowing your once-in-four-years shot at an Olympic medal because you were just outclassed, and then blaming it on the gear?

                I mean, there aren't a lot of good options for the American team...

                • Re:Untested? (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by gnasher719 (869701) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @10:31AM (#46254253)
                  Isn't it quite bad if athletes try to get an advantage to other athletes by having a high-tech company develop suits for them? Isn't it just a fair punishment if these athletes end up in positions below their actual talent and capabilities, when they tried to get in a position above their talent and capabilities?
                  • by mcvos (645701)

                    All athletes try to get a technical advantage. Usually the Dutch have the advantage, because a lot of speed skating research happens here (the clap skate that everybody now uses is also a Dutch invention, for example). Now the Americans tried to get an advantage on ill-thought-out terms (little practice; there's no way back), and it blew up in their faces.

      • "It should work." -- The engineer's famous last words.

        These suits will work some day once the kinks are gone -- they're fucking amazing:

    • Re:Untested? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14, 2014 @08:03PM (#46251577)

      Who the hell pushes untested code to production, just hoping it will work? Who the hell pushes an untested insurance exchange on a country, just hoping it will work? Who the hell pushes an untested beta on 25% of a website, just hoping it will work?

      Testing is unAmerican.

      BTW, you can bet whoever is responsible for this already jumped ship with an extra golden parachute for "bringing it in ahead of time and under budget" by chopping the test schedule and test team.

      • Re:Untested? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Friday February 14, 2014 @09:00PM (#46252025) Journal

        Better question is, who the hell tries to gain an unfair advantage over other athletes by having millions of dollars worth of resources dumped into their clothes, then expects to be taken seriously when they ask for a variation of the rules because those clothes are slowing them down?

        I'm embarrassed for them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sexconker (1179573)

      Who the hell goes to the Olympics with untested gear, just hoping it will work?

      No one. It was tested. They just sucked when it mattered and want to blame their suits. It's the equivalent of a 12 year old screaming on XBOX Live about how he's losing because his controller is broken.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      We're talking about 0.01s of seconds as a margin of victory. Testing is tricky. The athlete has to make a run, change suits, and make another run. OK. Day 2. Same test but use the new suit first instead of using it for the 2nd run. Did they run the Zamboni between runs? Wait the same time after the ice was fresh? These are just a few variables I came up with off the top of my head. Maybe a wind tunnel is the best way to test them, but is it a practical test? They sit still in the wind tunnel and th

    • Re:Untested? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by icebike (68054) on Friday February 14, 2014 @08:23PM (#46251757)

      Who the hell goes to the Olympics with untested gear, just hoping it will work?

      Apparently no one. Regardless of what the summary says the linked articles say different:

      Under Armour developed the skintight aerodynamic suit for the Sochi Games and it was pretested for specific conditions, including the sea-level altitude, that athletes would face there. ...

      The suits were delivered to the team in January, when preliminary adjustments for fit and comfort were made for each athlete, Mr. Haley said. The company also sent a team of specialists to Sochi to make adjustments as needed. The U.S. team wore the suits in the past month for simulated race conditions, but the Games marked the first time in competition.

      Any professional skater can tell you after a month of testing that your suit sucks. But chances are the US Olympic committee didn't want to listen.
      That clue was dropped by the coach:

      U.S. national long-track team coach Ryan Shimabukuro declined to discuss the suits or Under Armour. "I'm not going to criticize them, even if I was allowed to," he said.

      I'm betting there was bitching all along.

      • by quantaman (517394)

        FTA:

        These people [close to team USA] 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.

        The vent thing if true could be an R&D screwup but the form effect might be more important. Maybe the suits are great but have a different feel and response and that affected their technique. Depending when in January they got the suits that might not have been enough time to tweak their form.

    • by gmuslera (3436)
      The gold they persued were not of the olympic kind.
    • The same people that think a handful of races provide a significant statistical sample to be able to blame poor performance on the suit I'd imagine.

    • by jafac (1449)

      Athletes. Not engineers.

    • It was popular in high school wrestling to wear new-out-of-the-box things - shoes, head-gear - for the finals matches, if you made it that far. I never let my kid do that. When all eyes are on you and you need to perform your best, that's the worst time to find out how your stuff performs.
  • Its too bad.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14, 2014 @07:53PM (#46251515)

    Its too bad these games end up being more about your tech than your personal ability. Participants should all be required to use the same gear so that the gold is won based on personal merit.

    • by ksheff (2406)

      Participants should all be required to use the same gear so that the gold is won based on personal merit.

      Were the participants in the ancient Olympics usually naked?

      • Dibs on the woman's figure skating long program.

        • by Luckyo (1726890)

          Far too skinny. Not to mention many of them are pretty young. Though cold will make those nipples stand at attention!

          Funnily enough, I'd consider judo or wrestling. Imagine women, even if they don't look all that great, sweating, grappling and wrestling.
          Swimming would probably be best discipline though.

          But these are both from summer olympics.

    • Re:Its too bad.. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) on Friday February 14, 2014 @08:06PM (#46251611) Homepage

      Like the IOC did with swimming banning such suits, you'd think they would have made this a rule across all sports.

      • by asavage (548758)
        The swimming tech suits were banned by FINA (International Swimming Federation). I think the IOC follows rules set by each sports international federations, outside of drug testing etc.
      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        They didn't ban them until it was clearly shown that they provided a massive advantage. Iirc certain year's games were completely dominated by teams in suits to a ridiculous degree.

    • I agree that situations where a technology that is unavailable to everyone can make things unfair and less exciting. The problem with requiring everyone to use the same gear, though, is that there are variables that have to be able to be accounted for. For instance, in cycling one major decision is which gears you put on your bike for a given race. Some people are better with bigger gears, and some smaller gears. Forcing everyone to use the same ones would put people at a disadvantage. Similarly with cross-
      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        For instance, in cycling one major decision is which gears you put on your bike for a given race. Some people are better with bigger gears, and some smaller gears. Forcing everyone to use the same ones would put people at a disadvantage.

        This isn't a problem: just give them all a multi-speed bike that has ALL the gears. The only reason you'd only put some gears on a bike for a given race is because you're trying to eliminate extra weight and streamline the bike for the conditions it'll see in that race (you

        • by hondo77 (324058)

          This isn't a problem: just give them all a multi-speed bike that has ALL the gears.

          Stop. Just stop. You clearly have no clue of what you're writing about.

          • If you just dont give a fuck about weight or efficiency you can put CVT on it, which would pretty much give them all the gears.

        • Re:Not so simple (Score:5, Insightful)

          by bitingduck (810730) on Friday February 14, 2014 @09:14PM (#46252099) Homepage

          For instance, in cycling one major decision is which gears you put on your bike for a given race. Some people are better with bigger gears, and some smaller gears. Forcing everyone to use the same ones would put people at a disadvantage.

          This isn't a problem: just give them all a multi-speed bike that has ALL the gears. The only reason you'd only put some gears on a bike for a given race is because you're trying to eliminate extra weight and streamline the bike for the conditions it'll see in that race (you're trying to optimize it). If everyone has the exact same bike, this isn't necessary. No, this bike won't be as optimal for any one person as a custom-built (and -geared) bike, but it'll have all the gearings that any of the athletes might want, and eliminate the machinery as a competitive advantage

          And the machines still make it unfair- if you homogenize the machines to that extent then you end up homogenizing the people who can be competitive, as well. Staying with your example, small cyclists tend to have high power to weight, but low overall power, so it makes them more suited to climbing. Putting them on bikes with "all the possible gears" at the expense of weight means that the machine is a larger fraction of the rider+weight than for larger cyclists, thus using the machine to take away some of their real physical advantage. Even racing in a very controlled environment (i.e. a velodrome, where it's essentially dead flat), where riders are allowed to choose any gear they want (but only one gear), riders in a given race will choose different gears depending on their riding and racing style (spin vs mash, breakaway for laps vs. sit in and sprint). Sticking everyone in the same gear will likely put some of them at a disadvantage (which is intentionally done in junior racing, for both physical and fairness reasons).

    • ...since unrestricted garnishing doesn't seem to be particularly fair.

      • ...since unrestricted garnishing doesn't seem to be particularly fair.

        i'd prefer a single olympic standard mayonnaise!

    • There's a good chance it is about personal ability and these guys are just looking for something to blame.
    • This was done in the ancient olympic games - sort of. It wasn't really that the competitors used the same gear - they competed in the nude, covering their bodies with olive oil.

      The athletes usually competed nude, not only as the weather was appropriate, but also as the festival was meant to celebrate, in part, the achievements of the human body. Olive oil was used by the competitors, not only as a substitute for soap for washing, bathing, and cleaning, but also as a natural cosmetic, to keep skin smooth, and provide an appealing look for the participants. Because the men competed nude, married women were forbidden to watch the Olympics under penalty of death.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]

  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Friday February 14, 2014 @07:55PM (#46251519) Homepage Journal

    ...perhaps other countries just have better made and tested suits.
  • by djupedal (584558) on Friday February 14, 2014 @07:55PM (#46251521)
    Michel Mulder, who led a Dutch sweep of the medals in the men’s 500, offered another explanation.

    “It could also be,” he said of the Americans, “that they were just outclassed here.”
    • by Ralph Wiggam (22354) on Friday February 14, 2014 @08:39PM (#46251885) Homepage

      Michel Mulder, who led a Dutch sweep of the medals in the men’s 500, offered another explanation.
      “It could also be,” he said of the Americans, “that they were just outclassed here.”

      The issue is that these same Americans have been winning races against the same competitors over the last two years. Brittany Bowe is a world record holder, but came in 8th this week.

      To the American athlete's credit, they have been downplaying the suit's impact and giving credit to the winners. The controversy is coming from the media.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        To the American athlete's credit, they have been downplaying the suit's impact and giving credit to the winners.

        But, surely the athletes trained in these suits, right? I mean, would you show up to something like the Olympics in gear that's only been tested in a wind tunnel?

        If they were going to be slower in them, you'd think that would be fairly obvious in practice.

        Suits or no suits, they still didn't beat the other teams. So, you pretty much have to give them credit for actually winning.

        • So, you pretty much have to give them credit for actually winning.

          No. You could blame the suits like the media are doing.

          • by gstoddart (321705)

            No. You could blame the suits like the media are doing.

            It may well be the fault of the suits. They still didn't win.

            And belly aching that your fancy high tech suits didn't work doesn't change anything.

    • by blackfeltfedora (2855471) on Friday February 14, 2014 @09:01PM (#46252031)
      I'll listen to the guy who designed the Dutch suits: Bert van der Tuuk, the designer of the Dutch Olympic team's suits, said Thursday he had tried a similar ventilation panel on the back of a prototype three years ago, but it slowed his skaters by letting in air and creating drag. "The suit was blowing itself up," he said. http://goo.gl/YaDlg8 [goo.gl]
  • by mars-nl (2777323) on Friday February 14, 2014 @07:55PM (#46251523)

    ... are just better skaters. With or without suit. Live with it.

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Friday February 14, 2014 @07:56PM (#46251529) Homepage Journal

    It's all money, money, money. Corporate, corporate, corporate. The tickets are expensive, the travel murderous on the pocket and many seats are taken by corporate people who never show up. Then we get to the ugly bits about technology, so and so has a suit built by some high tech company of Unobtanium fibres and they are going up against Joe Somebody from Outer Slobovia, who is wearing whatever was on the rack at the local sport shop.

    It's like cheering on millionaires and then getting your blood in a boil when you think someone cheated them.

    • by timeOday (582209) on Friday February 14, 2014 @08:07PM (#46251619)
      I thought at the end you were about to say this shows that sport is still about athletic performance and not just money after all. That's what I think. And I don't the US should be allowed to change equipment during the competition either. Even though I'm skeptical it would matter.

      The amount of whining I've heard about these Olympics in general is pathetic. So transparent. Even though the games themselves have been not bad at all IMHO.

      Similarly it was pretty lame to listen to the announcers bend over backwards to excuse the mistakes of the US snowboard halfpipe team on the bad snow or the design of the pipe itself - then Shaun White said, "yeah, well, everybody was on the same course." I've been seeing some articles lately about him being a dick but that bumped him up a couple notches in my book.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Have the athletes skate in the nude, just like they did in the ancient winter olympics.

  • numbers? (Score:4, Funny)

    by clovis (4684) on Friday February 14, 2014 @08:05PM (#46251595)

    I read the articles, and what's missing is the actual times.
    The articles say they're slower than the other competitors, but what I'm curious about is this: are the USA skaters posting slower times in the suits than they did wearing other suits? If not, then it isn't the suits.
    I know I could spend some time researching this on the Internet, but I'm feeling as lazy as the reporters that wrote the original article.

    • by Algae_94 (2017070)
      It's far more complicated than just this. Even with these suits an athlete could win on one day, but lose the next. The number of variables involved are too numerous to just say this suit is worse.

      It really just sounds like a team that was way too overconfident, got caught half-assing it, and now is trying to deflect blame that they weren't as prepared as the other teams.
    • Re:numbers? (Score:4, Informative)

      by ginoledesma (161722) on Friday February 14, 2014 @08:32PM (#46251845)

      Emery Lehman, highest scorer for the US, on the Men's 5000 meter competitions:

      Salt Lake City USA (2013-11-17): [speedskatingresults.com] 6 min 19.86 sec (personal best)
      Sochi Olympics 2014 (2014-02-08) [sochi2014.com]: 6 min 29.94 sec

      His performance at the Sochi Olympics is 19.18 seconds away from the top scorer.

      Jonathan Kuck, second after Lehman for the same competition:

      Salt Lake City USA (2013-11-17): [speedskatingresults.com] 6 min 09.73 sec (personal best)
      Sochi Olympics 2014 (2014-02-08) [sochi2014.com]: 6 min 31.53 sec

      Patrick Meek, third in Sochi Olympics 2014, for the same competition:

      Salt Lake City USA (2012-01-21): [speedskatingresults.com] 6 min 23.89 sec (personal best)
      Sochi Olympics 2014 (2014-02-08) [sochi2014.com]: 6 min 32.94 sec

      Only Jonathan Kuck's personal best beats out the top scorer in this competition. I'll defer to wiser minds in determining whether having a suit give you +5-10 second advantage is "fair" in this competition.

      • Re:numbers? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Lawrence_Bird (67278) on Friday February 14, 2014 @08:55PM (#46252001) Homepage

        Here - let me kill this for you right now:

        Lehman 5000m 27 December 2013 6.25,72

        So he has times of 6 09.73, 6.25.72 and olympic 6.31.53

        Meek: 17 November 2013 6.19,86
        Meek: 25 October 2013 6.24,73

        and those vs the olympic 6.32.94

        And we are to blame the suits? In Lehman's case if he were a horse I would ask if he was taking Lasix to get the 6 09.73

        Consider that athletes, like horses, do not always perform at their best on race day. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Beyond the myriad physiological reasons, ice is not the same rink to rink, skate blades can be sharpened differently with different interactions between the ice and the athlete's legs and so on.

        This kind of whining is really embarassing.

        • by amiga3D (567632)

          I agree. Even if they think it's the suits it just makes them look like shit to blame it on them publicly. Eat the fucking crow and go back and shitcan the suits.

      • Re:numbers? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by bitingduck (810730) on Friday February 14, 2014 @09:34PM (#46252199) Homepage

        And how much of that is due to the elevation difference between SLC (~1288 m) and Sochi (near sea level). I'm too lazy to do the math for all of them, but based on my experience in cycling at sea level vs. 1500 m, those look like substantially attributable to the elevation. Add in differences in ice quality, and you might have all the difference. A more appropriate comparison is to look at how they've been doing against all their international competition over the past year, looking at performances at the same venue on the same day, and extrapolating.

        This article: why higher elevation is better [insidescience.org] even points out that the final training for the US team was done at elevation. Training at sea level and using hypoxic tents at night might have been a better idea.

  • by msobkow (48369) on Friday February 14, 2014 @08:10PM (#46251635) Homepage Journal

    Heaven forbid that someone else in the world was just better and won legitimately. No, there has to be something to blame for the loss.

    For every winner of gold, there are dozens who go home with nothing. Maybe it's just your turn to be the ones who go home empty handed.

    It does happen.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by msobkow (48369)

      Blaming suits for the loss instead of congratulating the winners is just piss poor sportsmanship and sour grapes. Shame.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Obfuscant (592200)
        Where did you read anything about the competitors not congratulating the winners? You do realize that it is possible to congratulate the winner while also trying to find the cause for a loss, don't you?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by taxman_10m (41083)

          You do realize that it is possible to congratulate the winner while also trying to find the cause for a loss, don't you?

          Not really, no.

          • You do realize that it is possible to congratulate the winner while also trying to find the cause for a loss, don't you?

            Not really, no.

            Then how the hell do you expect to ever learn anything? A good sport always genuinely congratulates the winner of a fair completion. A good competitor analyses every race, win or lose. Most people I've seen at the Olympic level are both good sports and good competitors. I don't think the US athletes in this case are any exception to that, it's just the press have picked up on part of the post-race analysis and spun it into a controversy. I would not be surprised to find one of Lockheed's competitors pre-spu

      • by Algae_94 (2017070)
        There's nothing here that says they didn't congratulate the winners. This is just the result of too much sports journalism. They try to find drama with everything. How many different angles can you take on the story that one person skated faster than another? That's not bringing in the viewers so it becomes some sort of suit disaster. The US skaters need to focus on their performance and use any losses as motivation to get better, not play a blame game and continue to blow the meet.
  • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Friday February 14, 2014 @08:10PM (#46251647)

    Sounds like they were trying to get an advantage with better gear, and it turned into a disadvantage. What, do you only want the good parts of having non-equivalent gear, and not the bad?

    Seems like we should look into standardizing the gear across competitors-- if not, doesnt seem like theres much room for complaining.

    • Variables out the ying

      yang...

      Elite athletes are just like you: they quite naturally have poor, fair, good, and great days.

      They are human, just like your surgeon, and some mornings they are well-rested and some mornings they're not: I hope your heart surgeon's child wasn't up all night with a tummy ache.

      Luck is always a factor in sporting events. It's as ubiquitous as bad refereeing. Say, maybe, it's bad luck your suits offer a distinct advantage in a pool filled with US municipal water, but foster drag

  • It's not about pitting the best athletes in the world against one another in a competitive sport, it's all about money and power.

    It's a triumph of the corporate spirit.

    • "It's not about , it's all about money and power.

      It's a triumph of the corporate spirit."

      FTFY

    • "It's not about {INSERT ANY SIGNIFICANT HUMAN ENDEAVOUR}, it's all about money and power.

      It's a triumph of the corporate spirit."

      FTFY

      • by sstamps (39313)

        Heh.. had to fix your fix for me, eh? Fail much?

        No, not all significant human endeavors can be substituted there, but it still pretty much makes my point for me, anyway.

        So much for "fixing" it for me. :-/

        Thanks, I guess.

  • "These suits are effectively meeting the aggressive operational challenges presented in Sochi."

    Meanwhile, a congressional appropriations bill to purchase 2.5 million suits for "combat personnel enhancement" was passed late last night without debate.

    • by PPH (736903)
      Next thing you know, Lockheed will blame it on the US Marines for insisting on including V/STOL capabilities.
  • They went live on an untested system? Who was in charge of the deployment of the suit? Kathleen Sebelius?
  • by dave562 (969951) on Friday February 14, 2014 @09:16PM (#46252101) Journal

    Right before the Olympics started, I read an article that referred to this exact suit and mentioned that it was going to give the Americans an unfair advantage. Lesson learned here? Spend less money on marketing (propaganda) and more money on product testing.

    Is anyone else sick of being lied to and misdirected on a regular basis? "Best speed skating suit ever developed!" "Oh, wait. Just kidding!"

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c... [cnn.com]

    Our economy is right and truly fucked at this point. The company that previously brought us the SR-71 has so many idle engineers sitting around that all they can do is waste (presumably) millions of dollars on a failure. Am I really to believe Obama and our "business leaders" that America does not have enough engineering talent? Here is an idea. How about instead of wasting their time on designing speed skating suits, they find them some productive projects to work on?

  • Dominating (Score:4, Informative)

    by dtml-try MyNick (453562) <litheran@gmai l . c om> on Saturday February 15, 2014 @02:08AM (#46253227)

    In my opinion the US skaters are just looking for a scapegoat. The truth is much simpler, us Dutchies are completely and utterly dominating the speed-skating competition at the Olympics.

    A good suit is vs a bad suit just gives you a very very marginal advantage, the rest is training and professionalism. It's not just the US that is being squashed right now, each and every country competing in speedskating is getting a good ass-kicking. ;-)

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