United States speedskaters ask for permission to wear old Under Armour uniforms

Kevin Kaduk
February 14, 2014
US changing suits after dismal speedskating start
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)

The United States speedskating team has made a request to revert to their old racing uniforms, the Wall Street Journal and Chicago Tribune reported on Friday. The move comes one day after it was reported that Under Armour's new high-tech uniforms, billed as the fastest in the world, were actually hurting the Americans' performance in Sochi.

[Photos: U.S. survives speedskating crash]

Friday was an off day at the speedskating oval. Saturday's event is the men's 1500 meters, which features U.S. star Shani Davis, a two-time silver medalist in the event. No American has finished higher than seventh in the six events held so far. 

From the Wall Street Journal:

The request doesn't guarantee that American skaters will be wearing different suits when competition resumes on Saturday afternoon, should the International Skating Union and the International Olympic Committee sign off. The team is currently split into two groups: those who want to stick with the current model and those who would revert to a suit they used while racking up victories throughout the fall.

The alternate suit is also made by Under Armour. [U.S. speedskating director Ted] Morris expects a ruling within hours.

"The general feeling from the athletes, it's pretty darn close to 50-50," Morris said. He wouldn't give any details of the top skaters' positions.

Under Olympic rules, all members of a team must wear the same suit, so it's all or nothing if a change is in the air. Under Armour has stood by the performance of its new uniforms, but a spokesperson also said they are willing to do whatever it takes to get American skaters peforming their best. 

One thing is for certain, however: Americans will have no one to blame but themselves if they change clothes and still manage to struggle. 

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Kevin Kaduk is a writer for Yahoo Sports.. Have a tip? Email him at kevinkaduk@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!