- Speed Skating
Team USA speed skating suits change approved
Is the new Under Armour U.S. speed skating suit at fault for the American failures so far in Sochi at the Olympic Winter Games?
If so, the U.S. is trying their old suits again to change their fortunes.
The Associated Press confirmed an earlier report from TODAY'S TMJ4's Jessie Garcia that the USA would be able to go back to suits with which they had previous success.
AP said the International Skating Union approved the change to the previous suits, and they can use them in Saturday's 1,500 meters race.
Still, a source close to US Speedskating send this e-mail to Garcia:
"A lot of rumors are flying. I personally do not believe the skinsuit is the issue. I have analyzed this situation closely, and my concrete observation is that virtually every single one of our skaters are .5 per second per lap slower than they need to be, and it is due to the residual effects of our pre-Olympic camp in Collalbo, Italy.
"At this camp we battled wind, cold, poor ice, and vastly different conditions every day for 10 important days. At this level, one cannot afford such a deviation. I believe this set us back, because we were unable to do quality work at race speed nor gauge the quality of the skating.
"Furthermore, the U.S. team (skaters who are based in Salt Lake City) since 2010 has consistently underperformed at sea level. That is a fact. What makes this situation even worse is that our sea - level athletes-Shani, Brian, Jonathan, are in lockstep with the slower overall speed of the team at sea level. This says to me there is a common factor. And I think it is the period between Olympic Trials and the Games. It is called SPEED skating for a reason. In this critical time, we simply lost speed."
In one of her training sessions in Collalbo, Jilleanne Rookard admitted to some of what the source told Jessie.
"First time outside...let's just say, seven laps, out in the wind, outdoors, not very stellar," admitted Rookard.
"Hopefully it's not a little blow to the old confidence...altitude is a little bit of a concern...it is a bit of a challenge to adapt in one week."