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Under Armour Signs New Deal With U.S. Speedskating Despite Controversy

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Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin assisted Under Armour in determining how air flow best wraps around the skaters, providing the ideal aerodynamic skeleton for the suits. (Credit: @UnderArmour)

Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin assisted Under Armour in determining how air flow best wraps around the skaters, providing the ideal aerodynamic skeleton for the suits. (Credit: @UnderArmour)

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WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – Despite the controversy over the U.S. Speedskating Olympic Team’s uniform, Under Armour inked a new eight year deal to continue providing uniforms for the team.

The CEO of Under Armour (UA) explained to “CBS This Morning” that the company is “doubling down” with its new deal even though athletes wearing the uniforms in the Winter Olympics have failed to win in the skating suits.

“We got beat up a little last week,” Kevin Plank, CEO of UA, said. “And speed skating is obviously getting beaten up. What we don’t do, is we don’t retreat. We get knocked down, we dust ourselves off, and we come back bigger, better and stronger than we were before.”

It was expected that the “Mach 39″ suits designed in partnership with Lockheed-Martin would give the American team an edge in competition.  However, when the American team didn’t win in early matches, critics as well as athletes began questioning if the suits were slowing them down, instead of speeding them up.  The Olympic team ended up switching to older UA suits, but still didn’t win.

Plank explained to “CBS This Morning” that he wasn’t sure why Americans weren’t having any luck at the Winter Olympics.  He did suggest that maybe a few bad matches in the beginning influenced the team’s thinking.

“It … begins with the attitude of the product — that they believe that the product can help them win,” Plank said.

The Baltimore based company will provide suits to U.S. Speedskating team for the next two winter Olympics.  The financial details of the deal have yet to be released.

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