The U.S. Speed Skating team has been massively disappointed at failing to finish above 7th in any event at the Winter Olympics in Sochi this past week. Even previous 1,000 metre gold medal winner at the last 2 Winter Olympics, Shani Davis, was unsuccessful in defending his speedskating crown this year. The Dutch, meanwhile, have been cleaning up the medals in most events so far.
The blame for the US team’s failure to launch has landed squarely on the shoulders of their high-tech suits from Under Armour, named the “Mach 39”. Built in conjunction with “the best engineers from Lockheed Martin”, no less, the high tech suits were touted as the fastest speedskating suit in the world.
Each suit has been carefully fitted and designed for individual members of the team. But skaters complained about the vents in the back of their suits letting in air as cause for their slow performance. The new skinsuits, which were completed right before the start of the games and held under sworn secrecy were not tested by the athletes in competition before the games either.
However, while several competitors on the team have complained that the suit has been hindering their performance, team coach Kip Carpenter and Davis himself have been among those dismissing the suit as the primary reason for the team sub-par results. Even after switching to their old suits, the team members were still unable to achieve any positive measure of success.
So while this was happening, I did some research to see what other teams might have experienced problems and what could be the possible causes, where they would have otherwise won their competitions:
- The Jamaican Bobsleigh Team did not finish in the top 3 in the Two-man heat on Monday, because the team encountered ice and snow in Sochi instead of sunshine and sand, and no Red Stripe beer was provided.
- The Women’s Ice Hockey team from Japan have failed to win any of the matches in their group because the goal was just too small.
- France was unsuccessful in the Ladies’ Aerials in the skiing event because why ski when you can Après-Ski?
- Brazil failed to enter the Men’s Halfpipe in Snowboarding because, like me, they were unaware this was actually an Olympic sport.
- Finally, the Trinidad men deliberately dropped out of the men’s Curling Round Robin, as the date for the Trini Carnival was scheduled for March 3, and everyone knows that travel into the country becomes a nightmare about now.
And although these clothes are probably very suited for carnival, why would you be playing this:
When you could be playing mas with these ladies?