Team USA's 'Crotch Patch' Speed Skating Uniforms Get Ribbed Online

The suit maker says there's science behind the design.

Team USA’s speed skating uniform at the Winter Olympics is getting criticism for the crotch design.

It seems that some people watching the American athletes on the ice in Pyeongchang, South Korea, are having trouble focusing on much else:

Under Armour, the apparel company that has worked with the national team on the suits for the last four years, said the crotch features a “friction guard” that reduces friction and improves skaters’ performance.

“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,” Under Armour told InStyle via a statement.

And the color of the crotch material couldn’t have been any different:

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.”

Under Armour

So, now we know.

But the explanation didn’t satisfy everyone:

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