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.