More than a few viewers have been puzzled by Team U.S.A.'s speedskating outfits. They seem to be designed purely to draw one's eye towards their junk:
The uniforms were designed by Under Armour, and InStyle asked them about the crotch bling. Here's UA's statement:
"The contrasting material in the inner thigh (friction guards) has been commonplace for speed skate skins for decades, to reduce friction. The 2014 UA skin had one panel instead of two, but in testing the new skin, the addition of a second panel reduced friction even more—by 60 percent."
Okay, but why not make the inner thigh panel the same freaking color as the rest of the outfit?
"We tested a multitude of friction guard materials to find the material that reduces friction the most. Altering the color or using a material that comes in a different color would have rendered it considerably less effective. The athletes love the look of the skins and how they perform and are getting compliments from other countries."
I'd have thought that they could simply make the entire suit silver, but presumably each nation's predominant uniform colors are pre-agreed-upon to avoid on-rink confusion.
Still, when we look at other countries' thigh panels that are a different color…
…they don't appear to be quite as prominent, nor do they extend as far north as the American uniforms.
I understand function over aesthetics, but I can't help thinking "Who designed these, Borat?"
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Didn't UA also botch the 2014 suit and effectively deny gold medals from several key US racers?
And why there's right there, in the middle, another dark color point?!?!?!?!? Makes no sense...
Sure it does. If the black color variant of that fabric offers even the subtlest reduction of friction while remaining within team color guidelines, it deserves to be there.
Evidently the patch is worthless cause we stunk up the track...
it couldn't be the same color? it's not like they are outdoors ... that's stupid #1 and since the American speedskaters were slow or out of contention, clearly these suits did not work.
Honestly, I believe the rationale given by UnderArmor. Their job was to confer every last advantage they could possibly offer the athletes wearing those uniforms. Color doesn't come for free, and different chemicals will alter materials properties very subtly. If an extra patch of black fabric over the crotch area can confer even a fraction of a second of benefit, bet on it being kept in the design.
"The athletes love the look of the skins and how they perform and are getting compliments from other countries"… Don't you love it when in the face of an obvious screw-up the designer doubles-down and provides dubious evidence that there's nothing wrong.
Luke - there's a reason why Apple doesn't show the whole legal text in the back of every Iphone. Sometimes you can actually prioritize good taste rather than obeying some rigid quidelines... The black bit makes this design malfunction even more pronounced.
So applying any dye would significantly reduce performance? That must be a very sensitive material.