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Under Armour/Lockheed Suit Blamed For US Skating Performance

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the this-event-should-be-nude-anyhow dept.

Technology 357

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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Dice Blamed for Beta (0, Offtopic)

sexconker (1179573) | about 10 months ago | (#46251497)

Still, no one cared.

Re:Dice Blamed for Beta (5, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 10 months ago | (#46251537)

In the ancient world, Greek athletes competed naked, and rubbed with a layer of olive oil.

I advocate this as the rule for all modern Olympians.

Re:Dice Blamed for Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251581)

I like this idea. If any athletes back out because of this new policy, well I guess you were just not as fanatic determined as you claimed.

Re:Dice Blamed for Beta (3, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | about 10 months ago | (#46251589)

In the ancient world, Greek athletes competed naked, and rubbed with a layer of olive oil.

I advocate this as the rule for all modern Olympians.

Some of the gymnasts and figure skaters are 15 years old. But I bet you knew that.

Re:Dice Blamed for Beta (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251631)

Some of the gymnasts and figure skaters are 15 years old.

And?

Remember, nudity != porn.

Re:Dice Blamed for Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251657)

In my country that's legal I guess, unlike you have authority such as being the guy who trains them.

Re:Dice Blamed for Beta (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251659)

Are you ashamed of the human form or something? Ever been too a nude resort?
Nothing wrong with naked bodies regardless of age. It's your perverted thoughts we need to watch out for.

Re:Dice Blamed for Beta (1)

retchdog (1319261) | about 10 months ago | (#46251711)

What do you expect? His handle is 'sexconker [wikipedia.org] '. Whether he's a pedo or simply a horse chestnut insertion fetishist is unclear, but something is clearly awry.

Re:Dice Blamed for Beta (5, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 10 months ago | (#46251781)

I'm certainly ashamed of *my* human form and have no desire to cause economic damage to any nude resort by my attendance au naturel.

Re:Dice Blamed for Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46252095)

First, as pointed out, nudity !=porn, or even sexuality. Second, up until very recent modern history it was fairly normal for 15 year olds to get married and have kids. Perspectives change with the times.

Re:Dice Blamed for Beta (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 10 months ago | (#46251713)

The ancient Greek olympics happened in the summer, not the winter. The Winter olympics have only been around since 1924. Athletes would succumb to exposure in a short time if they competed naked.

Re:Dice Blamed for Beta (4, Funny)

TWX (665546) | about 10 months ago | (#46251743)

Athletes would succumb to exposure in a short time if they competed naked.

Not in Sochi they wouldn't...

Re:Dice Blamed for Beta (3, Interesting)

erice (13380) | about 10 months ago | (#46251947)

The ancient Greek olympics happened in the summer, not the winter. The Winter olympics have only been around since 1924. Athletes would succumb to exposure in a short time if they competed naked.

This clip [mountainlifemag.ca] suggests otherwise. (NSFW)

And, at Sochi, there seems to be one unintentional attempt. [vdobean.com]

Re:Dice Blamed for Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251809)

I think something like a marathon with your junk flopping around would be rather annoying

Re:Dice Blamed for Beta (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#46251977)

In the ancient world, Greek athletes competed naked, and rubbed with a layer of olive oil.

I advocate this as the rule for all modern Olympians.

Judging by the number of condoms [commdiginews.com] they bought, plenty of that is happening already. :-P

may as well add streamers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251511)

and a kite

Untested? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251513)

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

Re:Untested? (5, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | about 10 months ago | (#46251559)

Americans

Re:Untested? (5, Funny)

QilessQi (2044624) | about 10 months ago | (#46251615)

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

Re:Untested? (2)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#46251765)

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

Re:Untested? (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 10 months ago | (#46251913)

We are, after all, seemingly working overtime for your viewing pleasure.

Re:Untested? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251927)

Care to make your counter argument as to how his statement is untrue? I didn't think so.

Re:Untested? (1)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#46252061)

The counter argument has already been made up-thread, by myself and others.

The suits WERE TESTED. If you had bothered to read TFA you would have known that.

Re:Untested? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251899)

but remember its not the athletes who failed it was the suits.

Re:Untested? (5, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 10 months ago | (#46251983)

When they get the bugs worked out, yes. From their design brochure:

"It's basically a micro-sandwich — a high-efficiency filter and heat-exchange system. The skin-contact layer's porous with vortex-damping dimples. Perspiration passes through it, having cooled the body ... near-normal evaporation process. The next two layers . . . include heat exchange filaments and salt precipitators. Salt's reclaimed. Motions of the body, especially breathing and some osmotic action provide the pumping force. Reclaimed water circulates to catchpockets from which you draw it through this tube in the clip at your neck... Urine and feces are processed in the thigh pads. In the open desert, you wear this filter across your face, this tube in the nostrils with these plugs to ensure a tight fit. Breathe in through the mouth filter, out through the nose tube."

Re:Untested? (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 10 months ago | (#46251959)

"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? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#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? (5, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 10 months ago | (#46252025)

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:Untested? (2, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | about 10 months ago | (#46251603)

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:Untested? (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#46251817)

Or more likely they were bitching all of january about the new suites but too much money and sponsorships were on the line and the US Olympic committee just told them to shut up.

In most other sports you have quite a bit of leeway as to your sport clothing. As long as the colors pretty much match the team colors, nobody checks the labels and sizes [yahoo.com] .

Re:Untested? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251677)

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 the vents make no difference. They move and the vents make little folds in the fabric or something, or change the way you move ever so slightly. Damn, it's tricky...

Re:Untested? (5, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#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.

Re:Untested? (1)

quantaman (517394) | about 10 months ago | (#46252087)

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.

Re:Untested? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 10 months ago | (#46251849)

The gold they persued were not of the olympic kind.

Re:Untested? (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about 10 months ago | (#46251875)

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.

Re:Untested? (1)

jafac (1449) | about 10 months ago | (#46251939)

Athletes. Not engineers.

Its too bad.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#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.

Re:Its too bad.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251583)

Exactly, the Olympics has turned into yet another pointless profit driven media frenzy. It's not even about the athletes anymore.

Re:Its too bad.. (1)

ksheff (2406) | about 10 months ago | (#46251587)

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?

Re:Its too bad.. (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about 10 months ago | (#46251883)

Dibs on the woman's figure skating long program.

Re:Its too bad.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251591)

That's why NASCAR is the purest of the Olympic competitions!

Re:Its too bad.. (2)

TWX (665546) | about 10 months ago | (#46251789)

Given that there are only a handful of chassis builders, engines are all basically the same displacement (max allowed) regardless of brand, and that restrictor plates and other systems work to equalize things even more, it's more even than one would normally expect.

Re:Its too bad.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251831)

They compete naked and rubbed with olive oil? Yech (okay, with maybe one or two exceptions).

Re:Its too bad.. (4, Interesting)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | about 10 months ago | (#46251611)

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

Re:Its too bad.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251889)

IOC probably won't ban suits it expects to make the users underperform.

Not so simple (2)

cpk0 (567107) | about 10 months ago | (#46251649)

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-country skiing, the specifics of how skis are waxed have a lot to do with snow conditions. Especially in races where participants start at different times, each racer need to be able to make that decision on their own. There's certainly a difference when everyone *could* wax their skis the same, though, and proprietary tech. But if I suddenly come up with a new way of waxing that seems better, using the same tools and the same wax, do I suddenly have to tell everyone? Most people, I think, would say no. So it gets hard to draw the line between innovation and unfairness.

Re:Not so simple (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 10 months ago | (#46251795)

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. Cyclists who prefer bigger gears will select those, while those who prefer small gears will select those. No, they won't record the record times they get with their ultra-custom bikes, but that's not the point of the Olympics or any competition between humans, it's to see which human is the best.

But if I suddenly come up with a new way of waxing that seems better, using the same tools and the same wax, do I suddenly have to tell everyone?

Yes! Is this supposed to be a competition to see who can ski better, or who can invent better skis and waxing methods? Some guy who's mediocre at skiing (due perhaps to genetic disadvantages; he isn't as tall and muscular as top skiiers for instance) might be really smart and invent better waxing methods, skis, etc. Then he doesn't compete with this knowledge, but he tells his Olympic skiier buddy, who uses it. New techniques and technologies are all well and good, but that's not what the competition is supposed to be about, it's supposed to be about who's the better athlete, not who has better technology. If we're looking for the best athlete, then we need to minimize or eliminate the equipment as a variable, and that means everyone has to use the exact same stuff, even if it means lower overall performance. Look at NASCAR; I hate to defend such low-tech stuff, but the idea they have is right, if your goal is to compare humans and not machines and technology. They even intentionally stunt the performance of cars in those races (using throttle restrictor plates for instance), just to make sure everyone's approximately equal and it comes down to who's a better driver, rather than who has superior technology.

Re:Not so simple (1)

hondo77 (324058) | about 10 months ago | (#46251987)

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.

Re:Not so simple (4, Insightful)

bitingduck (810730) | about 10 months ago | (#46252099)

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).

Re:Its too bad.. (1)

ComputersKai (3499237) | about 10 months ago | (#46251691)

wait... the Olympics ban drugs... but they allow suits that give athletes advantages?

Olympic standard mayonnaise (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 10 months ago | (#46251745)

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

Re:Olympic standard mayonnaise (1)

snakeplissken (559127) | about 10 months ago | (#46251991)

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

i'd prefer a single olympic standard mayonnaise!

Re:Its too bad.. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#46251761)

There's a good chance it is about personal ability and these guys are just looking for something to blame.

Re:Its too bad.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251949)

It's also about vanishing product endorsements.

Re:Its too bad.. (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | about 10 months ago | (#46251965)

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]

Re:Its too bad.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46252003)

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.

Not really possible to win 'on personal merit' alone until you give everyone not just the same equipment, but the same training, facilities, sponsorship and so on. Why do you think rich countries do the best at the games? It's not because they have a glut of exceptional talent.

Another way to look at it... (3, Insightful)

grub (11606) | about 10 months ago | (#46251519)


...perhaps other countries just have better made and tested suits.

Then again, maybe it’s not the suits at all. (5, Interesting)

djupedal (584558) | about 10 months ago | (#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.”

Re:Then again, maybe it’s not the suits at a (1)

bughunter (10093) | about 10 months ago | (#46251599)

I tend to agree. The whole issue with the suits sounds more like superstition than anything else.

Re:Then again, maybe it’s not the suits at a (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251625)

Ooooo, SNAP.

That's gotta hurt.

Re:Then again, maybe it’s not the suits at a (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251719)

The americans were shocked that they couldn't use mobility scooters.

Americans are very F A T and quite poor at sport.

Re:Then again, maybe it’s not the suits at a (2, Informative)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 10 months ago | (#46251803)

Americans are very F A T and quite poor at sport.

The US has won 1063 gold medals at the Summer Olympics. The next highest existing country has won 245.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All-time_Olympic_Games_medal_table

Re:Then again, maybe it’s not the suits at a (2)

Reemi (142518) | about 10 months ago | (#46251923)

Besides those numbers are for both winter and summer olympics combined, let's look into more details.

Sweden: 191 gold, 10 mln inhabitants
Hungary: 167 gold, 10 mln inhabitants
Switserland: 91 gold, 8 mln inhabitants
US: 1063 gold, +300 mln inhabitants

It is rude and unnecessary to call Americans fat and poor at sports, but in order to compare it with other nations one should not take grand totals.

(And yes, I hand-picked those examples but on the other hand I left out Norway with 5 mln inhabitants and 107 gold medals at the winter olympics vs US 87)

Re:Then again, maybe it’s not the suits at a (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46252063)

Divide that by the number of inhabitants in each country, will you?
1063 / 317M = 3.35
245 / 63M = 3.88
Oh oh oh

Captcha : 'retarded'
(seriously, not lying : proof! [postimg.org] )

Re:Then again, maybe it’s not the suits at a (4, Insightful)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 10 months ago | (#46251885)

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.

Re:Then again, maybe it’s not the suits at a (5, Interesting)

blackfeltfedora (2855471) | about 10 months ago | (#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]

The Dutch... (3)

mars-nl (2777323) | about 10 months ago | (#46251523)

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

Re:The Dutch... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 10 months ago | (#46251715)

I'd tune in if it were without suits

Re:The Dutch... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251863)

Myself, I'd only tune in for half of the skating events - but that's hundreds of times more than I do now so the sport would get a bit more viewership.

Hard to get excited about Olympics (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 months ago | (#46251529)

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.

Re:Hard to get excited about Olympics (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | about 10 months ago | (#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.

Re:Hard to get excited about Olympics (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about 10 months ago | (#46252023)

Being a Dick is often synonymous with telling the truth in a blunt way.

Re:Hard to get excited about Olympics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251701)

Slobovia?? Where did you dig up this priceless gem? Do you even realize that in the actual languages of that part of the world, "Slobovia" means "Country of freedom?" (well, approximately)

Not stealthy at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251539)

Everybody was able to see them!

Eliminate technology advantages (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251557)

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

Untested? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251569)

They deserve no medals.

i used to ask when did the us become the redcoats. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251575)

Now it is obvious, we had the russians in mind at least since the 70's.
what a laugh. not as funny as rosie o'donnel. or the beta.

Oh God we suck please help (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46251593)

The suits have caused enough concerns that US 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.

What? No, fuck you. You tried to leverage a technological advantage and you failed. Suck it up.

numbers? (3, Funny)

clovis (4684) | about 10 months ago | (#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.

Re:numbers? (1)

Algae_94 (2017070) | about 10 months ago | (#46251807)

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? (4, Informative)

ginoledesma (161722) | about 10 months ago | (#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? (3, Informative)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about 10 months ago | (#46252001)

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.

Re:numbers? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 10 months ago | (#46252029)

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.

UNTESTED?! (1)

persicom (136940) | about 10 months ago | (#46251601)

You go into a major competition in a suit you haven't used at all? Who's completely jackass idea was that? The same guy who wrote the test plan for the Obamacare website?

Typical American Attitude (4, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about 10 months ago | (#46251635)

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:Typical American Attitude (2, Informative)

msobkow (48369) | about 10 months ago | (#46251655)

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

Re:Typical American Attitude (2, Insightful)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 10 months ago | (#46251769)

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:Typical American Attitude (2)

Algae_94 (2017070) | about 10 months ago | (#46251847)

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.

Hard to have sympathy (4, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 10 months ago | (#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.

Re:Hard to have sympathy (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 10 months ago | (#46252085)

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 with the softer/harder water in Sochi.

Don't shit yourself... it's better to be lucky and good.

The modern Olympics are a farce (1)

sstamps (39313) | about 10 months ago | (#46251665)

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.

Re:The modern Olympics are a farce (1)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | about 10 months ago | (#46251747)

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

It's a triumph of the corporate spirit."

FTFY

Re:The modern Olympics are a farce (1)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | about 10 months ago | (#46251751)

"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

Re:The modern Olympics are a farce (1)

sstamps (39313) | about 10 months ago | (#46251971)

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.

Sarot termal (-1)

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Statement from Lockheed (1)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 10 months ago | (#46251721)

"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.

The JSF isn't a mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46252017)

It was designed to be a terrible airplane just so the US could cripple the air force of its vassals by selling them an overpriced piece of shit. Since the US can afford to spend a lot of money for their military, they'll be able to replace their JSF with a decent fighter jet that they won't export while their vassals are left unable to defend their air space without the direct support of the USA.

I can guess who was in charge! (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 10 months ago | (#46252041)

They went live on an untested system? Who was in charge of the deployment of the suit? Kathleen Sebelius?

Under Armour/Lockheed Suit Blamed For US Skating P (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46252045)

There is at least one thing in the awful old world that I don't give a rat's ass about, and that is the Olympics.

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