Sochi 2014: US Speed Skater Blames Lack of Leadership for Team's Problems

Sochi 2014: US Speed Skater Blames Lack of Leadership for Team's Problems

USA speed skater Maria Lamb said the lack of leadership is why the team has not performed well at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

America has not medaled in speed skating. A few reasons given were humidity from the Black Sea and new suits from Under Armour. The skaters did not place above seventh even after they changed suits.

“The skinsuit issue is honestly just the tip of the iceberg,” told reporters. “I’ve watched them be defeated by some of the leadership in the organization and it’s heartbreaking for me. It’s been difficult to watch and it has affected my recovery and my training. I’ve tried to block it out.

“I thought that maybe I could write a happy ending to this incredibly sad story. It was everything I had, but not what I know I’m capable of.”

On Wednesday, Lamb came in last in the 5,000m event. She came in 38 seconds behind gold-medalist Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic. She sat by herself afterwards and spectators could tell she was not thrilled. In fact, Reuters said she looked like she was going to be sick. But she did not bite her tongue when asked about the problems.

“Over the last few years, a few of us have raced better in spite of the organization rather than because of it,” the Wisconsin-born skater added.

“That adds up over the years and unfortunately it came to a head that we could no longer perform well.”

The Netherlands own speed skating during the Sochi Games. While Sablikova received the gold, Ireen Wuest’s silver and Carien Kleibeuker’s bronze gave the Dutch 21 medals in the sport. The Dutch have swept the podium four times and won four of the 10 events so far.