I'm sure you've heard the controversy at the Sochi Olympics...the US speedskating team's lackluster performance is surprising, so many involved are scratching their heads and questioning why they are winning no medals. The team has been wearing some specially designed "Mach 39" suits from Under Armour, which in concert with defense contractor Lockheed Martin, had created the "fastest speed skating suits in production," specifically for these 2014 Winter Games. But now these suits have come under fire and have been blamed for posssibly adding unnecessary wind drag while the athletes are racing. So it must be this equipment's shortcomings, right? Well... not so fast...
In a recent race, US women speed skaters in the 1000 meters had covered up the questionable vent on the suit's backside with fabric in order to eliminate the potential wind drag issue, yet ended up with a similar result as when the suits hadn't been adjusted. It seems that the variable has been eliminated. So what could it be then?
When things don't go our way it is easy to point the finger at external forces and lay blame elsewhere, but never on one's own shoulders. Under Armour has been making high quality sporting gear for over a decade and I personally own and enjoy wearing many of their items. And while no, I'm certainly no elite athlete, and my use of their gear never means my achievements in life are dictated by a fraction of a split second, I've never had a problem with the quality of their garments and feel they are simply getting a bum rap here.
While it's true UA pants never have enough functional pockets (especially for women) and they can't comfortably and effectively fit a cell phone while you work out (which is the exact same problem that ANY sportswear maker's pants have!), I think Under Armour is a good brand. And a decent company. And it's not their fault. Let's not make them the scapegoat.