Olympics speed skater Lamb skewers US leadership for Sochi failings
SOCHI, Russia, (Reuters) - The failure of American speed skaters to win a medal of any color at the Sochi Winter Olympics so far is all down to a lack of leadership, U.S. athlete Maria Lamb said after finishing last in the women's 5,000m on Wednesday.
The Americans have endured a Games to forget despite confidently predicting they would win eight medals with the aid of a new outfit described as the "fastest suit ever".
The Mach 39 outfit made by Under Armour, which underwent hours of wind tunnel analysis, was dumped after only six races as U.S. skaters failed to get on the podium and questions were asked about a lack of testing in competition.
The switch to a skinsuit used in World Cup races failed to reverse their fortunes and American skaters have been at a loss to explain the continued failings.
Lamb was not shy in offering her opinion.
"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 organisation 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."