After finishing last in Thursday's 5,000 meter speed skating competition, Maria Lamb coughed up an explanation for her and the U.S.'s poor performance in Sochi: the U.S. Speedskating organization is hurting more than helping. Specifically, she called out Finn Halvorsen, the managing director of America's long-track skating program. "[Halvorsen's] done a lot of damage the way he has single-handedly, perhaps, destroyed so many good athletes, at these performance at the Games, due to his calls and actions," she said. "It's fairly remarkable, actually."
Over the last couple weeks the U.S. and the world for that matter has been trying to figure out why the U.S. speed skaters haven't been winning anything. Traditionally, it's been one of the U.S.'s strongest winter sports. "U.S. speedskaters have won 67 medals, most of any sport, yet with two days remaining in the Games, they have been shut out in Sochi. The Dutch, meanwhile, continue to dominate, having won 21 medals," The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.
Earlier in the Games, the team's fancy new Under Armour suits were blamed for the team's slower times. But when they were swapped out, the U.S. skaters did not skate any speedier. And they haven't just been losing, they've been trailing far behind the competition. Clearly, something bigger is amiss and if Lamb is right, the whole culture of U.S. speed skating might be broken.