STYLE

What Are Those Crotch Patches On The Outfits Of The USA Olympic Speed Skating Team? (PHOTOS)

02/12/2014 09:56 EST | Updated 02/12/2014 09:59 EST
Streeter Lecka via Getty Images
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 09: Anna Ringsred of the United States competes during the Women's 3000m Speed Skating event during day 2 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Adler Arena Skating Center on February 9, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

We're happy to see that we weren't the only ones who were wondering about those silver patches on the inner thighs of Team USA's 2014 Oympic speed skating team.

Thankfully, Slate investigated the mysterious crotch circles.

According to Slate, the patches aren't there for fashion purposes; in fact, they are pieces of "ArmourGlide," a "super-slick material that apparently reduces friction by up to 65 percent." This is important for the athletes because they don't want their thighs to stick together when they're skating, which would slow them down and make them chafe. (Aie!)

Here are some other findings about the high-tech suits:

  • The Americans' outfits are called the Under Armour 39 Speedskating Suit.
  • The suits were developed by sporting goods company Under Armour and Lockheed Martin (yes, the company that makes fighter jets).
  • It took more than 100 textiles and 300 hours of wind-tunnel testing to create the perfect outfit that combined aerodynamic speed and comfort.

Development of the suits began over two years ago and the testing methods were kept a secret until the Sochi Olympics started.

But we have to ask: do they come in pink?

usa speed skating

usa speed skating

usa speed skating

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