US Olympic Speed Skating Uniforms Cause Uproar Over Under Armour’s Crotch Design

REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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Team USA speed skating uniforms are causing an uproar over their Under Armour crotch design.

The official U.S. speed skating uniforms for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games are getting attention for their seemingly scandalous design featuring a large gray circle at the crotch and inner thigh area, reported the Baltimore Sun Tuesday. Under Armour designed the uniform and responded to the backlash, explaining that the design could help athletes performance.

The material is called the “Under Armour Glide” which can reduce friction during the skaters’ competition, reported Yahoo! Sports.

The sports attire company wanted to rethink the design following the disastrous 2014 Winter Olympic Games when the “Mach 39” uniforms were discarded halfway through the competitions due to the lack of “breathability.” As a result, the U.S. failed to win any medal in speed skating for the first time in 30 years.

“We tested a multitude of friction guard materials to find the material that reduces friction the most,” Under Armour said in a recent statement. “Altering the color or using a material that comes in a different color would have rendered it considerably less effective.”

The company added that the new costumes reduce friction up to 60 percent.

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