Slowest Suit? With US speedskaters having miserable Olympics, focus turns to high-tech attire

The Associated Press

Shani Davis of the U.S., center, puts on the prototype of the official US Speedskating suit, while coach Ryan Shimabukuro checks his phone prior to a training session at the Adler Arena Skating Center at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. The team thought it had a chance to do something special, given some impressive World Cup results this season and new high-tech suits from Under Armour, which got an assist in the design from aerospace giant Lockheed Martin. Now, there's plenty of grumbling that the suits are actually slowing the skaters down in Sochi. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

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Davis is a two-time silver medalist in the 1,500, but nothing seems like a sure thing anymore.

"I didn't come all this way to start having doubts," he said, trying to muster a smile after his off-day workout. "I trained really hard. I'm focused. I'm feeling good. I'm going to go out there and do the best I can. That's all I can do."

When it came to the suits, he was more guarded with his words, sidestepping whether he would switch back to the old suit if allowed.

"I'm, uh, honestly being as optimistic as I can possibly be," he said. "I'm just staying focused on the 1,500-meter race. Suit or no suit, I've got to go out there and try to win."

As a U.S. Speedskating media official tried to hustle Davis out of the mixed zone, he stopped to answer another question.

"It's not their fault," he told the official, indicating he didn't mind the reporters' questions on the suits, which clearly have become a major issue within the team.

Then again, maybe it's not the suits at all.

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."


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