Following another tough afternoon for the U.S. speedskaters in Sochi, Shani Davis noted that the controversy surrounding their new Under Armour Mach 39 suits – which were switched out ahead of today’s men’s 1500m in favor of previously-used Under Armour suits – has had an impact.
“Just going through it mentally and using energy in ways we haven’t used energy before, and worrying about things we didn’t have to worry about in Olympic trials…It took its toll.”
“I spent energy in ways that I wouldn’t have had to have done normally, and I can only do the best I can. The damage was already done.”
Brian Hansen led the Americans with a seventh-place, and Davis finished 11th after winning the silver in this distance at Torino in 2006 and Vancouver four years ago. Joey Mantia was 22nd and Jonathan Kuck was 37th.
Now Davis is wondering if he and his team will come away with any medals at all in Sochi.
“We have no medals, man, we have none,” he said. “And the way things are looking, we might not get any, and it’s sad because we’ve had a lot of potential, a lot of talent, a lot of things going for us and looking good going forward.
“But it’s terrible, terrible, man. Big, big disappointment.”
Davis also expressed disappointment in his own efforts, saying he had to “go back to the drawing board” and figure out where exactly he’s gone wrong.
But while he wouldn’t blame U.S. Speedskating, he did criticize the decision to use the Mach 39 suits before they’d been properly tested.
“I think the best thing would have been to have made sure that these suits were what the people said they were so that we can actually know going into the races, instead of finding out on one of the biggest races of our lives,” he said.