U.S. short trackers like new Under Armour suits

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SOCHI, Russia — U.S. short track speed skaters are wearing new Under Armour suits at the Olympics, but, unlike some of their long-track teammates, are pleased with them.

Suits don’t make much of a difference in short track compared to long track. Also, the short track suits were so similar to their World Cup season suits that some skaters couldn’t tell the difference when racing.

U.S. short trackers received their Olympic suits after the Olympic Trials in January. In 2010, the same thing happened with new Nike suits, said Jessica Smith, an alternate on the Vancouver Olympic Team.

But they also received prototypes last fall and gave feedback before the final suits were issued, two-time Olympian Alyson Dudek said.

“This is the first time we’re wearing these suits as well,” Dudek said. “However, our suits and the long-track suits are completely 100 percent different. Our suits are very similar to what we have been racing in [during the World Cup season].”

Short track races are much shorter than long track, between 40 seconds and two minutes, and are about beating opponents rather than the clock.

“The long track suits, wind resistance and having the fastest suit out there, it makes a huge difference for the long trackers,” Dudek said. “We don’t have a problem with our suits. In fact, they fit better than our other ones.”

Both U.S. men and women short track skaters said nobody on the team has raised issues about their Under Armour suits.

“We rely so much on drafting that you can’t tell the difference,” Alvarez said.

Nick Symmonds auctions body ad space for double 2012 amount

Nick Symmonds
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U.S. 800m runner Nick Symmonds‘ right shoulder is apparently twice as valuable as his left shoulder.

The two-time Olympian auctioned ad space on his body for a second straight Olympic summer, with the final bid at $21,800 for nine square inches on his right shoulder in an Ebay auction that ended Thursday afternoon.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere‘s Twitter account claimed the winning bid of 107 overall bids.

In 2012, Symmonds auctioned the same nine inches on his left shoulder for $11,100 to Hanson Dodge Creative, a marketing agency based in Milwaukee. Here’s what that temporary tattoo looked like.

Symmonds’ temporary tattoo was not visible during the 2012 Olympics or 2012 Olympic Trials, as rules mandate the advertisement is taped over in those events plus other IAAF competitions.

Symmonds, 32, finished fifth at the 2012 Olympics and second at the 2013 World Championships.

He was left off the 2015 World Championships roster, after winning the national title, after refusing to sign a USA Track and Field contract that required athletes to wear Nike-branded Team USA gear at team functions at Worlds.

Symmonds’ apparel sponsor has been Brooks since January 2014. He was previously a Nike-sponsored Oregon Track Club member for seven years.

MORE: Mother, son set to compete in same Olympics for first time

Karch Kiraly to remain U.S. women’s volleyball coach through 2020

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Karch Kiraly will continue as U.S. women’s volleyball team head coach through the 2020 Olympics, agreeing to a four-year contract renewal.

“It’s been a tremendous honor to lead this special group of intelligent, powerful, hard-working, dedicated women, and the great staff that supports them — and it’s a double honor to prepare for battle at the Rio Olympics, knowing we’ll have the opportunity to carry that work forward in the next quadrennial,” Kiraly said in a press release.

Kiraly, the only U.S. volleyball player to earn indoor and beach Olympic titles, took over after serving on Hugh McCutcheon‘s staff from 2009 through the 2012 Olympics, where the U.S. women took silver behind Brazil.

Kiraly then led the U.S. women to their first World or Olympic title in 2014. They are ranked No. 1 in the world ahead of China and Brazil.

The program has gone 50 years with zero Olympic golds and broke a 62-year World Championship drought in 2014.

Kiraly, 55, is set to become the first coach of multiple U.S. Olympic women’s volleyball teams since Terry Liskevych from 1988 through 1996.

MORE: U.S. women’s volleyball team inspired by tennis legend