The Biggest High-Tech Fail of the Olympic Games

Graphic Marco Díaz and Marcos J. Alonso
Getty Images

After a disastrous U.S. speedskating Olympic performance and even worse Under Armour public relations meltdown, Under Armour has surprisingly announced an extension to the brand's sponsorship deal with U.S. Speedskating through 2022

The PR frenzy surrounding the brand resulted from speculation that the new Mach 39 racing suits created drag and slowed down the skaters. What was supposed to be a revolutionary concept in racing apparel became the scapegoat for U.S.’s lackluster performance.


High-tech apparel has become the norm during the Olympic Games, with athletes wearing the latest in performance gear to try to gain an edge over the competition. In 2008, Speedo’s LZR racing suit changed competitive swimming when world records were shattered over 30 times.

Despite it being for opposite reasons, both Under Armour and Speedo received public scrutiny for their racing suits. The following infographic compares and contrasts Under Armour’s Sochi Olympics controversy with Speedo’s 2008 controversy during the Beijing Olympics.

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