First and foremost — time to get mind out of the gutter.
Second, it is NOT just the women’s uniforms, though, for what must be reasons Freudian, it is much more pronounced in the case of the women! It might have to do with their anatomy — and I stress ‘might’.
The uniforms were designed and made by Under Armour.
That grey crotch design was not an accident or purely a marketing gimmick to grab your attention.
I knew that the design had a reason. I really did. I, however, wasn’t sure what. I thought that it might be for camera contrast to help with accurate timing. That, to I, made sense.
Well it appears it is slightly more mundane than that. They are FRICTION REDUCING patches — made out of a material called “ArmourGlide“. It is supposed to reduce friction by up to 65%. I assume that “ArmourGlide” must be expensive. If not why not make the entire lower half of the uniform in it? Maybe the entire uniform because it must also reduce wind friction.
But, now you know.
IF you look carefully you will notice that other non-US speed skaters also have ‘patches’ in the crotches — but noting as noticeable and accentuated as the Americans.
Well it isn’t as bad as the 2014 Colombian (Bogota Humana) Women’s Cycling Team Outfit.