Sochi 2014: US Speed Skaters Leave Winter Olympics with No Medals

Sochi 2014: US Speed Skaters Leave Winter Olympics with No Medals

The USA speed skating team went into the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia with high hopes, especially after Under Armour designed a top-of-the line suit for them. But race after race ended with no American placing higher than seventh. Nothing changed on Friday at the prelims for the team pursuits.

Shani Davis, Brian Hansen and Jonathan Kuck were defeated in their heat by the Canadian trio of Mathieu Giroux, Lucas Makowsky, and Denny Morrison by just over 3.5 seconds.

Soon after, the U.S. ladies – Heather Richardson, Brittany Bowe and Jilleanne Rookard – suffered the same fate at the hands of the Dutch team of Jorien ter Mors, Lotte van Beek and Ireed Wuest, The “Oranje” won the duel by 3.6 seconds in an Olympic record time of 2:58.61.

The Netherlands completely owned speed skating at the games. They swept the podium four times and won 22 medals in speed skating and the short track.

Halfway through the games, the team received permission to switch their suits to the ones used in the World Cup and Olympic trials. It did not help, and no American was above seventh. After Maria Lamb came in last in the women’s 5000m she said the problems came down to lack of leadership. Patrick Meek said the humidity from the Black Sea made it hard to achieve fast times.

America reached seventh three times: Richardson in the 1000m and 1500m and Hansen in the 1500m.

Here are Davis’s quotes after the prelims.

(Photo via USA Today)